Gordon Hayward opens up about recovery from COVID-19


There was a lot of optimism on Gordon Hayward’s frontline heading into the 2021-22 NBA season as he entered the Hornets’ training camp after his first healthy offseason since 2016. Sadly, due to things out of his control, he didn’t get the training and preseason camp he envisioned. The veteran forward entered NBA health and safety protocols on October 6, which saw him miss Charlotte’s last three preseason games.

On Monday afternoon, Gordon Hayward spoke to the Hornets media for the first time since recovering from COVID-19. Hayward tried to look at the glass as half full, saying he was glad he had COVID now rather than at a more crucial point in the season.

“I try to see it as happy that it happened in the preseason and not the regular season,” said Hayward. “Now I’m vaccinated and coming out of COVID so I think I should be good to go. You never know with this thing, with the variations and everything changing so quickly you just don’t know. I’m happy to catch him up when I did and I should be good for the whole season hopefully.

Hayward will indeed be active on Wednesday, but he said he won’t necessarily be limited to one minute before the season opener against Indiana. He and head coach James Borrego will play the situation by ear and just see how he feels on Wednesday as the game progresses. His conditioning is not yet back to 100 percent, but Hayward made the most of every second leading up to Wednesday’s opener.

“The last few days have been very good for recovering some cardio. I think that’s something I’m going to have to work on in the first couple of weeks… I’m actually glad we had this time that we had after that last preseason game so I could have the chance to participate in a live match. action and practice because I was down for the account for a little while.

The Hornets star forward obviously doesn’t take COVID lightly and understands the severity of the virus. Even as a professional athlete, his fight with the new variant was far from enjoyable.

“It wasn’t fun. I had the full panoply of symptoms… The body aches and general headaches were pretty brutal, the fever, the chills. The isolation was tough too… Fortunately, I didn’t lose. my taste and smell so it was good because I feel like I haven’t lost too much weight but I should get it back here very soon.

Despite the unorthodox start to the season in the midst of his battle with COVID, Hayward remains confident his team can take their game to the next level and continue on that upward trajectory.

“We definitely want to take this thing one game at a time and certainly want to be better than we were last year. Last year we showed moments and had flashes. I think this team is very versatile. We have a lot of weapons. Lots of guys who can play games.

The Hornets indeed showed flashes last season as they were atop the Eastern Conference as a 4th seed before LaMelo Ball’s wrist injury and Gordon Hayward’s foot injury which ended the season. As Hayward said on Monday, Charlotte needs to play her best basketball at the end of the season and the most crucial element is that all of her main players remain healthy and available. If Charlotte can do it and continue to stick to head coach James Borrego’s game plan, Hayward and the Hornets can surely make a playoff push in the Eastern Conference.

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