Just when it seemed that Cleveland Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving was getting back on the healthy track, he suffered a sprained shoulder in Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors and will be sidelined for the next 3-4 weeks.
Irving sustained the injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s night game, when he collided with Raptors rookie forward Jonas Valanciunas in an attempt to drive the baseline. Irving banged his shoulder into the 257-pound Valanciunas, knocking him out of out bounds.
Immediately following the game the All-Star guard underwent X-rays, which were negative. However, an MRI taken on Monday in Cleveland revealed a left AC (acromioclavicular) sprain. With just about a month left in the season it is likely that the Cavaliers may sit Irving for the remainder of the season.
“We just have to wait and see what happens,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said following practice. “I don’t want to speculate and say, ‘Hey, if he can get back he’ll get back. If he can’t, he can’t.’ We’re just going to have to wait until it’s completely healed and go from there.”
Injuries have hindered Irving throughout his collegiate and NBA career. He only played in 11 games at Duke due to a toe injury. Irving has missed 29 games in his first two NBA seasons. He has missed 14 games this season – 11 with a broken finger and three with a hyperextended knee – and last week Scott told reporters that they there was a possibility that the team would shut down Irving’s season because he still felt soreness in his knee.
The 20-year-old Irving missed four games last season with a concussion and 11 with a sprained right shoulder but still managed to walk away as the NBA Rookie of the Year.
Despite breaking his right hand this summer in Las Vegas after punching a padded wall, Irving has managed to bounce back and play through pain of a broken jaw he suffered this season.
“He’s still very young and his body hasn’t fully developed,” Scott said. “I’m just not that concerned about it, to be honest with you. All the injuries that he has gotten have been legitimate injuries. It’s not something that keeps recurring over and over again.”
Irving was not available for comment after the Cavs practice on Monday and was not even seen at the team’s training facility.
Now Scott will turn to Shaun Livingston, rookie Dion Waiters and Daniel Gibson for bigger minutes and points with Irving out of the rotation.