Kyrie Irving will miss the rest of the season including the playoffs after having left knee surgery, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This isn’t the news anyone expected.
The Celtics announced that Irving will have another surgery on Saturday to remove two screws in his patella from the 2015 NBA Finals injury he suffered when he was with the Cavaliers. There was a bacterial infection at the site of the hardware, according to the team. He is expected to recover in four-to-five months.
After a hot start to the season, the Celtics are going to have a tough time in the postseason without Irving and Gordon Hayward.
Irving was initially supposed to miss 3 to 6 weeks after having what was called a “minimally invasive procedure” to address knee pain he was suffering in the latter part of the regular season. Irving hadn’t played since March 11.
The procedure he had on March 24 removed a “tension wire,” according to the the team, that had been present since he had surgery on his patellar tendon in 2015 when he was still with the Cavaliers. It was thought the procedure would alleviate some of the pain temporarily, and Irving would return at some point in the playoffs. But now he’ll sit for the remainder of the season.
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!
That’s bad news for the Celtics, who’ve been short-handed since the season began.
This year wasn’t going to be it for Boston. Now it REALLY won’t be it.
Without Hayward, Boston likely wouldn’t have had enough to beat the Warriors or Rockets. But there was hope they could survive the East, or at the least, reach the Conference Finals.
Irving’s shutdown all but shatters that hope.
Terry Rozier has come on strong as Irving’s primary replacement over the last month, but he’s unlikely to be enough to carry the team’s scoring. Losing Irving and Hayward in the same season is a nightmare for Boston.
mood pic.twitter.com/g1iti5Rhaf— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) April 5, 2018
But most of this team will be intact for a run next year.
What does this mean for Irving?
Even with this surgery to clean up the bacterial infection, a more serious surgery could be on the way. It hasn’t been a secret that Irving would eventually need to go under the knife to fix this problem for good.
There was a report Irving threatened to have surgery if the Cavs didn’t trade him last summer. (Irving denied that report.)
And three weeks ago, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge agreed that Irving would need surgery.
“He has some surgery that may need to happen,” Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said in an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub in mid-March. “But maybe not this summer. Maybe the following summer or maybe the summer after that. I think that he could probably do it any time he wanted, but I’m not sure that it’s needed at this moment.”
It’s not clear if cleaning up this bacterial infection will act as the more serious surgery or a separate procedure entirely.