Ainge: Celtics not expecting Hayward return

Celtics president Danny Ainge says he won't panic after the team has failed to live up to the buzz early.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t have high hopes that forward Gordon Hayward will return this season.

“I’m not a doctor, and I wasn’t in the surgery, so I don’t really know,” Ainge told the Boston Herald after Hayward underwent surgery on his ankle Wednesday.

“And it’s still too early to tell. I mean, he just got out of surgery at midnight (Wednesday) night, and he was resting all day (yesterday) since he got no sleep (Wednesday). I honestly don’t know if anybody knows that.

“But I think it’s just safe to say that we’re not counting on him this year and go from there. Just take the pressure off him and let him heal correctly is the most important thing and not even really talk about when he should return to play. That’ll work itself out over time. Everybody heals differently.”

Hayward suffered the gruesome injury midway through the first quarter of Tuesday’s season-opening loss to the Cavaliers. This season marks Hayward’s first in Boston after seven years with the Jazz.

He signed a four-year deal worth about $128 million this past offseason.

The Celtics (1-2) defeated the 76ers (0-2) by a 102-92 count Friday. Kyrie Irving, another newcomer, led the Celtics with 21 points and six rebounds.