Gordon Hayward expected to make season debut Sunday for Jazz

ByTim MacMahon ESPN logo
Saturday, November 5, 2016

Utah Jazz star Gordon Hayward is expected to make his season debut in the team's Sunday matinee game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, a league source told ESPN.

Hayward fractured the ring finger on his left hand when it got caught in a teammate's jersey during practice Oct. 7.

The original timetable for Hayward's return was up to six weeks. He pushed to get back in less than a month. Hayward ramped up workouts recently and has been able to smoothly handle the ball with his left hand.

Hayward missed Utah's first six games, with the Jazz going 3-3 without their go-to guy, including a rare road win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Hayward, 26, led the Jazz with 19.7 points and 3.7 assists per game in 2015-16.

The Jazz still aren't at full strength with Hayward's return. Power forward Derrick Favors, another foundation piece, remains on a minutes restriction after recovering from a preseason knee injury.

Key reserve forward/center Boris Diaw is expected to be sidelined two weeks with a leg contusion.