In an interview with Boston Common Magazine, the All-Star vowed that he’d return to the court in 2018 and “be an inspiration for people.”:
“I always loved basketball. Being on the basketball court and winning with my team is one of the greatest feelings I have. This injury, I mean, I have never been through anything like this in my life. You go from excelling at a really advanced level to concentrating all [your] efforts just to do a calf raise. An experience like this changes you. My wife and I took some hospital visits. I was really down and having dark thoughts, but we visited kids who were really going through terrible illnesses. It put things in perspective. I know I can and will be an inspiration for people. Twenty-eighteen will be my year. I will be back on the court.”
Hayward, 28, suffered a severe ankle fracture on opening night of the 2017-18 season.