Celtics’ Hayward dealing with back pain

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is battling lingering back soreness as his long-awaited regular-season return nears.Hayward told reporters Wednesday that the soreness in that area is nothing new, though it doesn’t typically linger this long. He believes what’s at fault is his long layoff from playing.”In the past, it’s bothered me but always calmed down and was fine with treatments and stuff,” Hayward said. “But this time it was getting worse, especially after playing.”I have found out that is going to be a process because of not playing for so long. The rest of my body has to readjust to playing.”Despite the injury, Hayward said he still expects to play in Boston’s regular-season opener against Philadelphia on Tuesday.

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