This article is part of our NBA Injury Analysis series.
The final week of the NBA season has mercifully arrived, ending what has been an injury-riddled campaign. The year got off to a poor start with Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Lin each suffering season-ending injuries in their team's first outing. The injuries would not relent as the league lost over 5,000 total man games due to injury or illness. Unfortunately the recovery for multiple ailments will spill into the offseason and carry over into the 2018-19 season.
Here are a few I will be closely monitoring over the summer:
The Boston Celtics
Boston emerged as a top threat in the East despite losing Hayward five minutes into the season. The team's big offseason signing suffered a gruesome left ankle dislocation and fracture. Surgery was needed to stabilize the area effectively ending his season before it even really began. Hayward's recovery has been well-documented online with the former All-Star posting videos of the process.
Despite some optimism that he would make a late-season return, Hayward only recently began jogging and has yet to resume basketball-related activities. Those final hurdles will likely be cleared over the summer with a preseason return likely. However, the Celtics will likely handle his return to play conservatively, carefully managing his court time.
Paul George's return to an elite level of play following his devastating lower leg fracture provides an encouraging template for Hayward's return. However, Hayward's injury is a bit more complicated due to the accompanying damage to the ankle ligaments. As a result, Hayward