Hayward out 6 weeks after undergoing surgery on fractured hand
David Liam Kyle / National Basketball Association / Getty

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward underwent surgery on his fractured left hand Monday and is expected to return in approximately six weeks, the team announced.

Hayward consulted with hand specialists in order to determine his next steps after breaking his left hand Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs. The 29-year-old was injured when he ran into a screen set by LaMarcus Aldridge. He left the game and did not return.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Saturday that by electing surgery, Hayward could potentially return to the court sooner than if he opted for a non-surgical route.

"That's what I've been told. I'm not a doctor. But I've been told, for whatever reason, that would stabilize it and improve the timeline," Stevens said, according to Nicole Yang of Boston.com.

Hayward was in the midst of his best stint with the Celtics since signing with the team as a free agent in 2017. The forward is averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 31.1 minutes per contest while shooting 43.3% on 3.8 threes per game.

His numbers have been a marked improvement across the board from a down year last season when he returned from the brutal leg and ankle fracture that sidelined him for nearly all of 2017-18.

Budding star Jayson Tatum, All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, and Jaylen Brown will be tasked with larger workloads on both ends in Hayward's absence.

Tatum, for one, is looking forward to the challenge.

"It's going to be tough because he was playing great, and we were playing great as a team," Tatum said, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "But just next-man-up mentality. Next guy has to be ready."

Marcus Smart started in place of Hayward on Monday in the Celtics' first game since the injury.

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Hayward out 6 weeks after undergoing surgery on fractured hand
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