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Ainge: Irving, Hayward At Full Speed & Ready For Celtics Training Camp

BOSTON (CBS) -- In less than a month, the Celtics will have a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on the floor together.

The duo is fully healthy and ready for training camp, Celtics president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge told ESPN on Monday.

"I don't want to hype it up too much, but I'm saying that if our training camp were starting today that they would be here today going full speed," Ainge told ESPN's Chris Forsberg. "It's not like they need an extra month. I think that they know they have an extra month, so they are sort of pacing themselves. They're playing as if to build up to that opening day of training camp [Sept. 26]."

Irving was spectacular in his first season with the Celtics, averaging a team-high 24.4 points and 5.1 rebounds before needing season-ending knee surgery in April. Hayward's ride was much shorter, going down with a gruesome ankle injury just five minutes into the campaign. But now both are healthy and will soon be together again, ready to rejoin a young Boston core that came within one win of the NBA Finals without their services in the playoffs.

With Irving and Hayward back in tow, anything but a trip to the finals this coming season would be a disappointment. And with such high expectations, the squad is an eager bunch to get going with the new season, ready to take on each other on the practice floor. While many fans will be recovering from the unofficial end of summer following Labor Day weekend, the C's will already be in the gym according to Ainge.

"They'll both be here within the next week or so; by the time Labor Day is over, they will all be playing 5-on-5," Ainge said of Irving and Hayward. "I think it's just a matter of, if they're not playing 5-on-5 now, then it's only because they want it more of a controlled environment, I guess. They're doing everything -- dunking the basketball off both legs and playing one-on-one live and jumping and cutting and defending. I'm excited for them."

While Irving and Hayward will be back on the floor playing 5-on-5, one of their final hurdles, the Celtics will still be cautious with two of their star players. Ainge said the team will gradually ramp up their activity throughout camp, with young players like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier easing the burden on the veterans.

The Celtics will help tip off the new NBA season for the second straight year, hosting the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 16.

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