A sizeable challenge was thrown at Art Howe just five minutes into his first season as head athletic trainer for the Boston Celtics. Forward Gordan Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle fracture on Opening Night, costing the free agent acquisition his entire season. The rapid response of Howe and his staff likely helped limit the initial damage while the light-hearted but diligent work by rehabilitation manager Steve Mount and strength and conditioning coach Tyler Yeaton helped alleviate a grueling rehab process.
Kyrie Irving’s late season surgery and subsequent treatment for infection was also costly, pushing the team’s total salary dollars lost to injury or illness over $40 million. However, the hard work of the medical team has both former All-Stars back in uniform and ready for Opening Night. While Hayward’s workload is likely to be carefully monitored, the Celtics remain a talented and deep roster with realistic aspirations of hanging the team’s 18th championship banner.