Kyrie Irving is set for a knee exam and will have to decide whether or not he will undergo a surgical procedure to fix his problems or just continue to rest.
The Boston Celtics star has been suffering from knee soreness since the start of the month and has not featured in four consecutive games since failing to return to the court after half-time during the 99-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers on March 11.
Irving was expected back soon but after missing the 100-99 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, coach Brad Stevens revealed that he will be seeking outside counsel and will miss the Boston side’s upcoming four-game road trip.
“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. … We’ve talked about it, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Just continued soreness is what’s made the decision not to play tonight, and made the decision to not go on the trip, and seek outside counsel. It’s not new pain by any means, nothing new. Continued soreness.”
The second opinion on the sore knee will now be done Thursday, according to the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, who added that if a surgical procedure is required, it is probably best if Irving has it done immediately rather than delaying it for the offseason. The 25-year-old will likely only return to action next season if he goes under the knife now.
The Celtics have already confirmed their place in the NBA playoffs but are dogged with many injury problems right now as they are also missing the likes of Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis and Marcus Smart.
General Manager Danny Ainge had claimed last week that surgery may be required for Irving in the offseason but television analyst Marcus Broussard believes there is a possibility that his season could be over.
“I will say this: There is some sentiment within the Celtics organization — let’s see what happens with the second opinion — that possibly, this is far from definite and I don’t want to sound the alarm, but possibly, this could put his season in jeopardy,” Broussard was quoted as saying.
“If that’s the case, then Danny Ainge is looking more at, ‘You know what, if it’s the case, we’ll rest him now.’ Don’t push him through this season just to have him play in the playoffs when the knee’s not really right. Let’s get him healthy, and then he and (Gordon) Hayward come back next season. Now, I’m not saying that’s gonna happen. I’m just saying there is some thinking that let’s see what happens with this,” Broussard said.
Irving notably had surgery on the same knee during the 2015 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors and first complained about the soreness during the 123-120 loss to the Houston Rockets on March 4.