Gordon Hayward Hopeful to Return for Celtics-Heat Game 3

Could Gordon Hayward return for Celtics-Heat Game 3? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics desperately need a spark in their Eastern Conference finals series against the Miami Heat -- and Gordon Hayward hopes to give it to them.

The injured Celtics forward felt good after a post-practice workout Wednesday and is "progressing toward returning" for Game 3 on Saturday night, The Athletic's Jared Weiss reported Thursday.

Hayward hasn't played since Aug. 17 after spraining his ankle in the Celtics' playoff opener against the Philadelphia 76ers. He was upgraded to doubtful prior to Tuesday's game, however, and his four-week recovery timetable put him on track to return around this time.

The Celtics could use Hayward's services after blowing double-digit leads in Games 1 and 2 to fall into a 2-0 series hole against Miami, and history suggests the 30-year-old veteran could make an immediate impact if he's able to play Saturday night.

Celtics legend Kevin Garnett recently wondered how Hayward would re-integrate with the team after missing a month of action, but considering the C's reportedly had an ugly locker room blow-up following Game 2, a fresh face in the lineup might be just what they need.

Game 3 tips off Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET in Orlando.

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