It has long been believed that the ankle injury suffered by Celtics forward Gordon Hayward in the Oct. 17 season opener would sideline him for the entire season. In an interview with the Globe on Friday, Hayward did not veer from that timeline, but he did express some hope that he might be able to return at some point this season.

On Sunday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he was glad to see Hayward’s optimism, but he also reemphasized that the team is not expecting him back this year.

“He’s got to find any motivation that he can find, as I’m sure he shared with [the Globe],” Stevens said before the Celtics defeated the Pistons, 91-81. “We’re certainly not going to put limitations on what he tries to do. That being said, we’re not planning on him.

“All that [he said] is really good, because it indicates that he feels really good about where he’s headed and he should. And that he’s going to be fully healthy when he does get back out on the court, which he should. So that’s the positive of it. But we don’t want to put that on him. And so we’re assuming that that will not be the case.”

In Friday’s interview, Hayward said he has thought about returning, but that he would not rush anything.