Kyrie Irving Will Miss 4-5 Months

Apr 06, 2018, 10:08
Kyrie Irving Will Miss 4-5 Months

The Celtics said Thursday that the fracture in Irving's patella has completely healed and the knee remains structurally sound.

Irving recently developed an infection at the site of the screws, and now they must be taken out. Irving is expected to recover fully in four to five months, the team said.

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) in the fourth quarter at Target Center. The Celtics now have to play knowing that Kyrie is out for the season, which can't make his teammates feel good right about now.

Irving reflected on the news in an Instagram post Thursday and wrote, "This season was only a snapshot of what's to come from me".

"Trust Me. 'The journey back to the top of Mt. Everest continues'".

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue awoke from an afternoon nap to texts about Irving. He's one of the best scorers in the league, and his ability to hit clutch shots - as he did to win Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, helping LeBron James deliver the city of Cleveland its first title in more than 50 years - is unquestioned.

Irving joins Gordon Hayward and rookie Daniel Theis with season-ending injuries.

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Doing so will help each individual fan, and it will help the team in the long run. Boston will likely enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed behind Toronto.

The first surgery had already ruled Irving out for the first round of the playoffs; this one - involving the removal of screws inserted in 2015 in an area that is now infected - rules him out until the fall.

After that, it becomes a whole lot murkier for Stevens and company.

Though there was a belief that Irving would be able to return three to six weeks after undergoing the procedure, which would have put him in line to return by at least the second round of the playoffs, the report is that Irving will sit out the remainder of the season. Given that Boston's schedule has been a little more hard than typical with Irving out of the lineup, the sum total is a team 1.6 points per 100 possessions better than average, when adjusted for opponent and game location. He is averaging 21.6 points per 36 since Irving last played on March 11.

With Terry Rozier serving as a Kyrie Lite as of late, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum playing like veterans and not 20-somethings throughout the year, and Mook Morris beating the backside of all who get in his way (refs included), the Celtics should still advance out of the first round. The rookie has increased his shot attempts from 9.9 per game before Irving went down to 13.6 since - an increase of almost 40 percent. Rozier averaged 17.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists in March, including a career-high 33 points in March 25 road victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Others have stepped up as well. They were the best team in the East for much of the season, touting the best defense in the National Basketball Association, keeping those chances alive for seven wild months.