A source familiar with Kyrie Irving's rehabilitation told ESPN.com the fifth-year guard is “ready to play” both mentally and physically and has been that way for about the last week. Yet, Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt said after practice Sunday that “we won’t see” Irving on the court Tuesday against the Boston Celtics.
Does that mean that the Thunder game is already ruled out for Irving? No. He could play. Then again, a source familiar with the Cavs’ thinking told ESPN.com he wouldn’t mind if Irving sat out until February if it meant his chances of being healthy for an extended playoff run would increase.
Kyrie Irving should make his return within the next week, likely Dec. 20 against the Philadelphia 76ers if not before. Irving will not play Tuesday when the Cavs face the Boston Celtics, coach David Blatt said.
There is a chance he could play Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, although it seems more likely at this point the Cavs will hold him out until Sunday against the Sixers, one team source said. Irving practiced with the second team Sunday and participated in multiple shooting drills with LeBron James following a lengthy practice. He seems ready to play now, but the Cavs don't see a need in rushing him back. He certainly seems on track to be in the starting lineup for the Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors.
Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert could play on the team's upcoming two-game road trip, which starts on Friday against the Orlando Magic and finishes Tuesday in Boston. "There's a chance that one or two or both will play on the trip, but there's also a chance they don't," head coach David Blatt said Thursday. "We'll see how they're feeling." Both Irving and Shumpert went through a full practice on Thursday, the final workout before the team left for Orlando, and both made the trip.
Cleveland.com is told that Shumpert is slightly ahead of Irving in terms of recovery. Since Shumpert is coming back from a wrist injury and Irving a knee injury, the three-time All-Star's road to full health has been tougher.
Shumpert has been able to maintain his conditioning throughout the process. That hasn't been the case with Irving. Though no one within the organization is willing to say it, I'm told that having both activated in time for the Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors is a strong possibility.
Irving, who hasn't played since breaking his left kneecap in the NBA Finals, is finally fully cleared to practice and said Thursday that he's moving toward his return. But Irving would not commit to exactly when he'll make his season debut. "You're not getting anything out of me," he said, smiling. "No percentages, no target dates, nothing. I'm feeling good. Personally, I'm in a great place just being able to be out here and practice with the guys, being able to go up and down and continuously, as well."
Kyrie Irving played a set of modified 1-on-1 games against LeBron James after the Cleveland Cavaliers' shootaround Saturday and “destroyed him,” a team source told ESPN.com. They weren’t true games of 1-on-1 in the sense that only one dribble was allowed per possession, thus rendering James’ significant size advantage moot as he couldn’t simply back Irving down with his dribble and post him up. Games finished with the first player to score three baskets.
Chris Fedor: #Cavs Kyrie Irving is doing some shooting work following shootaround this morning. https://t.co/TETFimKdMC
"Everyone's going to formulate their own opinions based on injuries," Irving said. "You think about injuries whether they have them when they're young, or old, or in the middle, it's part of the game. For me, I know exactly what I'm doing in the weight room and exactly what I'm doing to prepare myself for the court, and if something happens, that's just part of the game. If I go out there and bump knees with someone and get a knee contusion and have to miss a game, and then I sprain my ankle, those aren't things that can be planned. You just do the best you can to prevent it. For me, everyone putting in the notion of breaking down, I'm nowhere near close to breaking down I can be completely honest with that. I'll just let my game on the court and my work ethic speak for all that. I'll never not put myself in a position to be successful for my teammates and for my organization. I could see if I wasn't putting in 100 percent effort in doing everything possible to prevent injuries, then cool, everyone can have their opinion and I'd start believing it. But no way will I start believing that my body will break down and I can't be better every single year."
"Whether (my return is) in December, or whether that's in January, I have to eventually test out my knee against competition," Irving said about the idea of being overly cautious.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was recently cleared for unrestricted weight-bearing activities, league sources informed Cleveland.com. From here, the team's training staff can intensify his leg-strengthening assignments as it sees fit, I'm told.
After practice on Thursday, Cavaliers head coach David Blatt made it sound as if point guard Kyrie Irving isn't close to a return to action. "[We're] not rushing things and not letting up from the day-to-day work, but still a ways to go," he said. "And how much, I can't honestly tell you, but he's working at it every day."
ESPN Cleveland: Windhorst: Kyrie is doing some contact work. Scrimmaging 3-on-3. I expect him back in a couple of weeks. #Cavs
Sirius XM NBA: . @Brian Windhorst says on TSL that if this was a pressure situation he thinks Kyrie Irving could play right now, but the Cavs won't rush him
There was a report about Kyrie Irving not being ready to play until January. No one knows for sure, as Irving is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured knee cap. But the Cavs do expect him to play well before January. Of course, that can change once they see him in training camp.
The Cavaliers plan to work Kyrie Irving back into playing condition carefully and methodically as he recovers from a left kneecap fracture suffered in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Multiple league sources say his rehabilitation is going smoothly, but that the chances are slim of him being in the opening-night lineup against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 27. One source said he could very well be unavailable up until January.
Nearly two months after Kyrie Irving left Oracle Arena on crutches, his season coming to a dejecting end because of a fractured left kneecap, Irving was back on a basketball court. "Great," Irving said when asked how he is feeling following surgery in early June. "Taking it one day at a time. It's a process getting back to where I want to be. But I'm doing what I can here with the kids and that's all that matters. I started walking about a week ago so whether I was on crutches or not I was still going to be here for the kids."
May 17, 2022 | 4:40 pm EDT Update
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