Kyrie Irving is expected to miss the rest of the NBA regular season, after undergoing surgery on Saturday to remove a tension wire in his left knee, the team announced. Irving has been dealing with knee issues for the past few weeks, but after a second opinion, he decided to opt for the surgery.
Based on the timeline, there are concerns if Irving will be able to return before the start of the playoffs. With numerous injuries to the roster, Boston’s top priority is getting relatively healthy as they are unlikely to catch the Toronto Raptors (4.5 games back) and have a comfortable lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers (six games ahead) with 10 games remaining in the regular season.
In his first season with the Celtics, Irving has established himself as the team’s first option, averaging 24.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 60 games. As the five-time All-Star has dealt with knee issues in the past, it will be interesting to see if he returns in time and what happens at the end of the season.
Irving is the third Celtics player in the past 10 days to undergo surgery, joining Daniel Theis (torn meniscus) and Marcus Smart (torn thumb tendon). The Celtics have played their past five games without the services of Irving, Smart, Theis, and Jaylen Brown (concussion). The Celtics have also been without All-Star Gordon Hayward since he fractured his ankle on opening night.
Lucky for the Celtics, the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff teams are weak. The Celtics have enough talent to finish out the regular season and possibly a first round match up without Irving, but any aspirations for an NBA championship is just unrealistic.