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Boston Celtics stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward have spent their offseasons rehabbing from injuries, but they are apparently both close to 100 percent.
“I don’t want to hype it up too much, but I’m saying that, if our training camp were starting today, that they would be here today going full speed,” general manager Danny Ainge said Monday, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com.
They are expected to rejoin teammates for informal workouts before the start of training camp.
“It’s not like they need an extra month,” Ainge added. “I think that they know they have an extra month, so they are sort of pacing themselves. They’re playing as if to build up to that opening day of training camp [on Sept. 26].”
The two players were new additions to the roster heading into last season, although neither were active during the playoff run that saw the Celtics reach Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Hayward’s season lasted only five minutes before suffering a devastating leg injury that cost him the rest of the year.
Irving was able to make a much bigger impact with Boston, appearing in 60 games while averaging 24.4 points and 5.1 assists per game. He was named an All-Star for the fifth time in his career.
However, the point guard still suffered an ankle injury down the stretch and missed the entire postseason.
It appears both will be back to full strength to begin the 2018-19 season, though, effectively adding two stars to a squad that was already a top contender without them. With the way Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and others have improved with the veterans on the sidelines, the Celtics will have high expectations going into next season.