ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi is reporting that Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will miss the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs following his recent knee surgery.
In the aftermath of left knee surgery, Boston Celtics All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs, league sources told ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 5, 2018
After experiencing discomfort in his left knee on and off all season, Irving underwent surgery in late March to remove a tension wire that remained from a previous surgery. At the time of the surgery, it was estimated that Irving would miss three to six weeks. Recently reports had surfaced that it would be three weeks before Irving would even begin basketball activities.
UPDATE: The Celtics announced Irving will undergo additional surgery to remove two screws from his knee to further relieve discomfort. Per the team’s official press release, “pathology indicated the presence of a bacterial infection at the site of the hardware.”
#NEBHInjuryReport Kyrie Irving will undergo a procedure this Saturday to remove two screws implanted in his patella from an injury suffered during the 2015 NBA Finals.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 5, 2018
He is expected to make a full recovery in 4-5 months. https://t.co/WKQfPlUZ0u
If Irving makes a full recovery in 4-5 months, that will put him on track to be ready for the start of training camp in September.
Following these reports, Irving’s first season with the Celtics will end after 60 games. He averaged 24.4 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting from the floor and 40.8 percent shooting from behind the arc. He also averaged 5.1 assists per game and 3.8 rebounds per games. He also made his fifth NBA All-Star appearance.
Irving was acquired by Boston from the Cleveland Cavaliers in blockbuster trade in late August that saw the Celtics send Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a future first round pick and a future second round pick to the Cavs. The deal came after Irving requested a trade due to increasing frustration with his role and place in Cleveland.
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!
With Irving out, as well as backup point guard Marcus Smart, the Celtics have relied heavily on Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin to run the offense. Both Rozier and Larkin have battled injury and illness issues of their own the last couple of games, propelling rookie Kadeem Allen into a more prominent role.
Irving joins Daniel Theis as out for the season, as Theis is recovering from a knee surgery of his own. Gordon Hayward remains out, and is expected to miss the rest of the season as well. Smart could potentially return, should Boston advance past the first round.
Irving remains under contract with Boston for two more seasons, through the 2019-2020 season, with the final year being a player option. Given the Celtics investment in Irving for this season, as well as long term, it is best to let him get back to full health.
In a season that started with much promise and excitement, Boston will now head into the playoffs shorthanded. Any sort of playoff success would be a bonus on top of what has already been a better than expected season, given the injuries. The Celtics will let young players get some significant postseason experience, as well as looking to a return to full health for Irving and Hayward for the 2018-19 season. That means this season may not end the way many hoped, but the experience gained by the younger players and the return of the injured players could pay off long term for a Boston team that expects to title contenders for years to come.
*This story was updated with information that Irving will undergo further surgery and will miss 4-5 months.