"if our training camp were starting today that they would be here today going full speed."
The Boston Celtics are heading into the 2018-19 season with a clean bill of health. According to ESPN, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge says both Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving appear at full health and would be "going full speed" if training camp were to open right now.
"I don't want to hype it up too much, but I'm saying that if our training camp were starting today that they would be here today going full speed," Ainge told ESPN. "It's not like they need an extra month. I think that they know they have an extra month, so they are sort of pacing themselves. They're playing as if to build up to that opening day of training camp [Sept. 26]."
Hayward missed all of last season after suffering a gruesome ankle injury just minutes into his Celtics debut, while Irving was sidelined throughout their playoff run due to a lingering knee injury.
Irving recently revealed some details about the knee injury which required season-ending surgery in April to remove two screws from his left patella, after the Celtics revealed a bacterial infection was discovered at the site of the screws.
The 26-year old point guard explained that the infection discovered on the metal wiring and screws in his knee could have evolved into a staph infection had it not been caught and treated early enough. In order to combat the infection, a catheter was inserted into a vein going into his heart, according to ESPN.
"I mean, you ask anybody with an infection, they will probably try to downplay it," Irving said when asked how scary the infection was, according to ESPN. "It's a personal thing because your body is going through it. I was fighting an infection in a specific place in your body where you can't necessarily reach with your hands. You got to go in there and kind of see what's going on, and what happened for me was, the metal wiring and the screws that I had in there, the infection was on that, so I had to remove that and then be on antibiotics for about two months.
"It could have evolved to staph, but good thing we caught it early. I am glad that is done. That was a long, long fucking two months."
"For the last two months, it was a long, rigorous process, trying to get that infection out and make sure I was safe," Irving said. "And then rehabbing from there. So I have been rehabbing probably for the last month and some change where I can actually do something without much restrictions."
The Celtics, favored to come out of the Eastern Conference, will open up the 2018-19 season at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 16 as part of TNT's opening night double-header.