After he practiced with the Jazz on Monday, Gordon Hayward remained listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Prior to the practice, coach Tyrone Corbin was optimistic Hayward, who has missed eight games with a right shoulder sprain, would make his return against the defending Western Conference champions.
“Hopefully he can have a good practice today,” Corbin said, “and be ready to go tomorrow in the game to get him back on the floor these last two games before the break and get him back acclimated to playing in the games.”
Hayward has played in 44 games, and averages 13.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. The Jazz are 4-4 without him.
Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey said Hayward was scheduled to go through the Jazz’s warm-up period on Monday and if he felt good enough to continue would give Corbin a heads-up. It was unclear how much Hayward was able to do in practice or what prevented him from being cleared for Tuesday.
Among the keys in Hayward’s recovery, Corbin said, is to “get him past the fear of being hit on the shoulder again or playing apprehensive or worry about it not being healed and then he can play his game from there.”
The Jazz also play Wednesday at Minnesota. Hayward will not participate in any All-Star this weekend in Houston and will spend the four-day break at home in Indiana.
“Hopefully if he doesn’t play before All-Star break,” Lindsey said, “he’ll play soon after.”