In the aftermath of left knee surgery, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs, the team announced.
Who Will Lead Celtics on Offense?
Since Kyrie Irving last played on March 11, Marcus Morris is the team’s leading scorer while Terry Rozier leads the team in shot attempts per game (15.2).
MARCUS MORRIS 20.8
Jayson Tatum 17.2
Terry Rozier 16.6
Jaylen Brown 14.0
Al Horford 12.8
— ESPN Stats & Information
Irving will undergo another procedure on Saturday to remove two screws from his patella that were inserted in 2015 to repair a fracture he suffered in that year’s NBA Finals. The team said a bacterial infection was discovered at the site of the screws when Irving had his most recent surgery, on March 24, to remove tension wire in the knee and that Saturday’s procedure will ensure no infection remains in the knee. The wire had been placed in his knee during the same surgery in which the screws were inserted in 2015.
The Celtics said Irving’s patella is completely healed and “remains structurally sound.” Irving is expected to recover fully in four to five months, the team said.
Irving reflected on the news in an Instagram post Thursday and wrote, “This season was only a snapshot of what’s to come from me.”
The loss of Irving is a devastating blow for Boston’s hopes of competing for the Eastern Conference championship. The Celtics (53-25) hold the No. 2 seed in the conference. The 26-year-old Irving, who last played in a game on March 11, averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds this season, his first in Boston.
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Boston acquired Irving in a blockbuster offseason deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics are still without guard Marcus Smart, who had right thumb surgery in March. He’s hopeful to be able to return sometime early in the playoffs.
After Thursday’s news, the Celtics’ odds at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook dropped from 20-1 to 80-1 to win the NBA title and from 9-2 to 20-1 to win the Eastern Conference.