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Gordon Hayward will start traveling with Celtics in March

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Hayward isn’t expected to return to the court this season, but the Boston Celtics will have their All-Star forward on the sideline soon.

A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston reported Hayward said he anticipated joining the team for its travels beginning in March.

Celtics fans, whether joking or not at this point, continue posting “3/23” about a hoped return for Hayward. But that’s wishful thinking for anyone who remains serious, considering the severity of his injury and head coach Brad Stevens saying the recovery is a “long road.”

Still, it’s an encouraging development in Hayward’s rehab. He’ll provide an emotional boost for the Celtics and can be a helpful, guiding presence for young wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Hayward probably won’t enter a game in 2017-18, but he can still impact Boston’s pursuit of a championship this season.