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Celtics' Hayward will leave Orlando in September for child's birth

By Scott Garbarini
Gordon Hayward

Florida, July 4: Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward said he will exit the NBA's bubble in Florida for the birth of his next child if his team is still playing at that stage of the league's revised season.

Hayward's wife is due to give birth to the couple's fourth child in September. The NBA's current plans for its restart have the Eastern Conference semi-finals beginning no later than August 30 and the conference finals starting by September 15.

At the time of the NBA's stoppage on March 11 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Boston occupied the third seed in the East, three games behind the first-place Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division.

"There'll be a time if and when we're down [in Orlando] and she's going to have the baby, I'm for sure going to be with her," Hayward said of his wife, Robyn. "We'll have to cross that bridge when we get there."

The NBA has put in stipulations for players who have received permission to leave the Walt Disney World Resort complex. If a player is gone for less than seven days and continues to test negatively for COVID-19, he would be required to quarantine for four days after returning.

"I know the NBA has a protocol for that type of thing, and hopefully I can do the quarantining and testing the appropriate amount of time and then be back with the boys," he said.

Hayward was in the midst of his best season with the Celtics at the time of the league's shutdown. The former Utah Jazz star is averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 39.2 percent from three-point range in 2019-20.

The 30-year-old added that the time off has been beneficial for him physically, but admitted that he still deals with occasional pain in his left foot. Hayward fractured his left ankle in the 2017-18 season opener, his first game as a Celtic after leaving the Jazz to sign a four-year max contract.

"Everything is definitely a lot better. There is no doubt about that," said Hayward. "For sure, I'm feeling great, it's just the foot still is a little sore. It is what it is."

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Story first published: Saturday, July 4, 2020, 1:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 4, 2020
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