Kyrie Irving Out For Remainder Season, Including Playoffs
Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving will undergo surgery on his injured left knee Saturday and will miss the entirety of the upcoming NBA playoffs, the team announced Thursday.
"Irving will undergo a procedure to remove two screws implanted in his left patella after the patellar fracture he suffered during the NBA Finals in 2015," the Celtics said in a release. "Following a mid-March procedure to remove a tension wire that had been implanted at the same time as the screws, pathology indicated the presence of a bacterial infection at the site of the hardware. To ensure that no infection remains in the knee, the screws will be removed."
The team reiterated Thursday that Irving’s patella has completely healed, and his knee remains structurally sound. He is expected to make a full recovery in 4-5 months.
Irving has not played since March 11, when the injury forced him to sit out the second half of a game against the Pacers.
Following the March 24 surgery to remove the tension wire, the team announced that it expected Irving to return to basketball activities in 3-6 weeks. The initial timetable put Irving on track to possibly return to the lineup during Boston's first-round playoff series.
The loss of Irving, who averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds this season, is a devastating blow to Boston's chances of making a deep playoff run.
The team also has been playing without guard Marcus Smart, who suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting hand on March 10th. Smart underwent surgery a week later, and the team said it expected him to return to basketball activities in 6-8 weeks.
Backup guard Terry Rozier returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing a game due to a sprained left ankle. In his return, Rozier played 28 minutes and scored two points on 1-of-9 shooting.
Shane Larkin, another guard playing significant minutes off Boston's bench, was hospitalized for several days with the flu and has missed the Celtics' past three games.
The hardest thing to do sometimes is accept the uncontrollable things life throws at you. You try consistently to learn, grow, and prepare everyday to equip your mind, body, and spirit with tools to deal with some of those things, but I feel when those moments arise they all give you a sense of unfulfillment, simply because it puts some of your professional journey and goals on a brief hold. It's simply a test of your perseverance and Will, to be present, even in the wake of what's going on. In this case, finding out I have an infection in my knee is definitely a moment that I now accept and move past without holding on to the all the what ifs, proving the nay-Sayers completely f***ing wrong, and accomplishing the goals I've set out for the team and myself. 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." #StandingRockSiouxTribe Let's go Celtics!! Celtics fans, I look forward to hearing how loud it gets in the TD Garden during the playoffs and experiencing how intense the environment gets. Thank you all!