Stevens says Hayward will be cleared for 5-on-5 ‘very, very soon’

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward says he intends to be ready for the season-opening game.

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens says small forward Gordon Hayward will be cleared for five-on-five drills “very, very, very soon.”

Hayward suffered a fractured left ankle in the Celtics’ season-opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers this past season.

Hayward is expected to join his teammates in informal workouts, as Celtics players begin pickup play in advance of the start of training camp in late September. Hayward has been doing full speed training for almost a month now. His trainer, Drew Hanlen, said in August that Hayward is “doing really well.”

The Celtics went to the Eastern Conference Finals last season and were a game away from reaching the NBA Finals. They did all that without the services of Hayward and Kyrie Irving, who has recovered from his knee surgery. Expect the Celtics to be even more dangerous with its two stars back.

Boston has the best odds to reach the NBA Finals from the East. They sit at 5/1.