Kyrie Irving out for entire playoffs, sinking Celtics' chances

Kyrie Irving out for entire playoffs, sinking Celtics' chances

The Celtics’ playoff hopes just got a lot more grim. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving will undergo a procedure Saturday to remove two screws implanted in his patella, the team announced Thursday. Irving first suffered the knee injury in the 2015 NBA Finals with Cleveland and got the two screws inserted into his patella afterwards. 

According to the team statement, a bacterial infection recently developed around the screws. The surgery will be to remove the infection at the “site of the hardware.”  

Saturday’s surgery will be Irving’s second operation in three weeks. He had a tension wire removed in his left knee March 24.  

There were few concerns about Irving’s knee through the first five months of the 2017-18 campaign, in which he earned an All-Star selection and further established himself as one of the premier scorers in the league. Irving averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game this season. 

When the calendar turned to March, Irving says he started to feel aggravation in his left knee. He played intermediately during the first two weeks of the month before pulling himself out at halftime against the Pacers March 11. He hasn’t been on the court since. 

Originally, Irving didn’t intend to undergo surgery, but garnered second opinions after his soreness failed to dissipate. 

With Irving out of the mix, the Celtics will enter the postseason with a limited roster. Guard Marcus Smart is still out with a torn thumb and forward Daniel Theis is sidelined with a torn meniscus. Gordon Hayward, of course, hasn’t played since he fractured his ankle on opening night.

Boston is so beat up, it was forced to start Kadeem Allen at point guard in Milwaukee Tuesday. Terry Rozier returned from a sprained ankle to handle point guard duties Wednesday against the Raptors. 

The Celtics, who saw the Bucks snap its six-game winning streak, are currently three games behind the Raptors for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re currently slated to play the No. 7-seed Wizards in the first-round of the playoffs. Washington’s star point guard, John Wall, returned from a prolonged absence Tuesday.

Last offseason, Danny Ainge appeared to turn the Celtics into championship contenders with the Hayward and Irving acquisitions. The Celtics will have to wait until next year to make their run with this group. 

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Source: GreenStreet Blog

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