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Hornets SF Gordon Hayward expected to return vs. 76ers

Hayward is officially listed as probable.

Denver Nuggets v Charlotte Hornets
Gordon Hayward of the Charlotte Hornets looks on in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Spectrum Center on March 28, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets are set to welcome small forward Gordon Hayward back to the lineup Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Hayward was out 22 games with an ankle injury and should be part of the rotation for Charlotte.

We’ll have to see how much Hayward plays, but he figures to take some minutes away from Miles Bridges and PJ Washington. Charlotte runs a guard-heavy rotation and plays small, so Hayward probably won’t interfere much with LaMelo Ball or Terry Rozier in the backcourt.

The small forward was averaging 16.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game prior to his injury. While he may not be the borderline star he once was, Hayward is a nice addition to a team fighting for positioning in the play-in tournament. The Hornets are 8-2 in their last 10 games and are tied with the No. 8 Nets on record. If they can get out of the 9-10 slot, they’ll have two chances to make the postseason.