Kyrie Irving looks different. He has just jogged off the Auerbach Center court after an informal pick-up session with his Boston Celtics teammates and his distinctly more chiseled upper body is beaded with sweat. He's sporting a headband to keep a fuller noggin of hair at bay, and he's smiling. A lot. There's a simple reason for that: He's no longer in pain.
"I'm moving completely differently,'' Irving tells ESPN, just days away from the official start of training camp. "I've worked on my strength and have a heightened awareness of what my body needs on a day-to-day basis. I spent all summer trying get my left leg to catch up with my right. And it's there.''
Danny Ainge confirmed earlier this month that Kyrie Irving had been cleared for 5-on-5 action, but Tuesday marked the first day that we got a glimpse of the All-Star point guard in action. In an Instagram video posted by basketball skills trainer Irv Roland, Irving can be seen hooping it up with Durant, Harden, Olynyk, T. Johnson and other NBA players ahead of training camp in a couple of weeks. The video only shows a few clips but we get a glimpse of trademark Irving in a few of them with a crafty up-and-under, along with midrange finish after getting fouled. This is obviously promising to see just a few months removed from his infection and multiple surgeries on his knee.
Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving and small forward Gordon Hayward “look impressive” in the pickup games they have played at the practice facility in advance of training camp, a league source told Amico Hoops on Friday. Irving underwent season-ending knee surgery in April, while Hayward suffered a fractured left ankle in the Celtics’ season-opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 17, 2017. Both players have been taking part in full speed training for almost a month. Hayward is expected to be cleared for five-on-five play next week, sources said.
A. Sherrod Blakely: The #Celtics Daniel Theis said Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both “look good” in games played at the team’s practice facility recently.
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will return to Boston next week and are expected to join their teammates in informal workouts as Celtics players begin pickup play in advance of the start of training camp in late September.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told ESPN on Monday that both Irving (knee) and Hayward (ankle) appear at full health and are ready for the new season. "I don't want to hype it up too much, but I'm saying that, if our training camp were starting today, that they would be here today going full speed," Ainge said. "It's not like they need an extra month. I think that they know they have an extra month so they are sort of pacing themselves. They're playing as if to build up to that opening day of training camp [on Sept. 26]."
"They'll both be here within the next week or so, by the time Labor Day is over, they will all be playing 5-on-5," Ainge said. "I think it's just a matter of, if they're not playing 5-on-5 now, then it's only because they want it more of a controlled environment, I guess. They're doing everything -- dunking the basketball off both legs and playing 1-on-1 live and jumping and cutting and defending. I'm excited for them."
Fred Katz: Brad Stevens told @Chris Mannix that Hayward and Kyrie are both on schedule: "I think [Hayward] and Kyrie will be fully cleared by the time training camp starts and probably well before."
Irving said Thursday that the infection discovered on the metal wiring and screws in his knee could have evolved into a staph infection, but that it was caught and treated early enough to prevent that. To treat the infection, Irving said he had a catheter inserted into a vein going into his heart. "I mean, you ask anybody with an infection, they will probably try to downplay it," Irving said when asked how scary the infection was. "It's a personal thing because your body is going through it. I was fighting an infection in a specific place in your body where you can't necessarily reach with your hands. You got to go in there and kind of see what's going on, and what happened for me was, the metal wiring and the screws that I had in there, the infection was on that, so I had to remove that and then be on antibiotics for about two months. It could have evolved to staph, but good thing we caught it early. I am glad that is done. That was a long, long f---ing two months."
The infection at the site of the screws was discovered when Irving had surgery on March 24 to remove tension wire that was placed in his knee during the 2015 procedure. "For the last two months, it was a long, rigorous process, trying to get that infection out and make sure I was safe," Irving said. "And then rehabbing from there. So I have been rehabbing probably for the last month and some change where I can actually do something without much restrictions."
Adam Himmelsbach: Brad Stevens on Kyrie and also Hayward: "I think the whole time, he’s been shooting toward an early-August return to real live-action. So, he should be well ahead by the time we start practice. So, him and Gordon are about the same timeline."
Fred Katz: Brad Stevens on how Kyrie is moving: "I saw Uncle Drew. That was sweet. He was moving good in that."
Gordon Hayward: I’ve talked with Kyrie, and I know he is progressing really well, and plans to start training hard pretty soon. We’ve both been itching to re-join these guys after watching what they did in the postseason.
Q: Are you cleared to play? Kyrie Irving: No, I would say in the next two weeks would be ideal of like when exactly I’ll be able to play. It’s just patience, man. It’s a lot of maintenance. I didn’t have the end of the season to kind of use this as a rest period, but I needed it. Over the last kind of three years, I’ve been really fortunate to be playing all the way until June. It was good. I needed it. I needed a break for now.
Fred Katz: Brad Stevens on Kylie’s/Hayward’s rehab schedules: “They’re well on their way to being cleared. I think it’s just a matter of time.” Said his assumption — “and it’s very much an assumption” — is mid-August.
Irving’s two surgeries — first to have a wire removed from his knee dating back to patellar surgery in 2015, and then to have the screws removed when traces of bacteria were discovered on the wire — also appear close to resolution. Or so Stevens hopes. Asked about the “dangerous” situation Irving described during the Simmons podcast, Stevens said, “Any time you’re talking about infection in bone, that’s real. We were kept very in tune by all of the doctors, and once the decision was made by Kyrie and the doctors, it made a lot of sense to remove the screws. Nobody wants to hear the word infection. Right away, that had to be taken care of, no doubt.
“When we started the season, we were well-aware of the surgery, the hardware in his knee, and we knew we were going to have to manage that appropriately from a practice standpoint — two days on, one day off,” he said. “We had to manage it in games — all of that as the season started. He was doing that really well, and then that wire started irritating him. “When they removed the screws to make sure he was good from an infection standpoint, he had to take antibiotics and all those things, it was tough. Really tough,” he said. “We were on the west coast trip when he made that call. The threat of infection in that area is real, and the screws had to be removed immediately. He was really down — really down.”
Kyrie Irving: [Sitting out the playoffs and watching Boston make a run] sucked, man. It sucked. I can't even sugarcoat it, it was tough. Not from watching the guys, but of what I was dealing with outside of that. I was leaving the games at halftime because I had eight-hour shifts of antibiotics I had to take for my infection. I had a PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) in my arm for two months and I'm just like, every day is like, I can't lift, I can't run, I can't do anything. If I didn't have my PICC line in for my infection, I would have definitely gone after trying to be ready for at least the Eastern Conference Finals. " Bill Simmons: "Really?" Irving: "Yeah, for sure."
Jay King: Kyrie Irving said he can’t run yet. He already has a countdown to training camp, though — he said there’s 15 weeks until then. I didn’t check him on that, but he seemed pretty sure.
It must have been very difficult watching from the sidelines as the Celtics advanced in the playoffs. How is your knee rehab going? Kyrie Irving: I’m taking it one day at a time. You know it’s just a process, getting back into the swing of things. It’s a different off-season for me. It’s a lot more time focusing on my body and getting mentally prepared for next season. I’m just super proud of the guys and what they accomplished. They really stuck together throughout everything. Obviously Game 7 didn’t necessarily go the way we all planned, but I mean those guys, they gave it all throughout the whole playoff run.
Injured Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving did not attend his team's Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers because he had undergone surgery for a deviated septum, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Monday. "I don't think he wanted to be seen," Ainge said, before joking that "he's a really good-looking guy. He didn't want to ruin his movie career."
Jay King: Brad Stevens said Kyrie Irving seems to be in a good mental state regarding injury, but “it’s killing him” not to be able to play in this series.
Marc D'Amico: Stevens on how Kyrie is handling not being able to play against Cleveland: “He’s good at focusing on what he can control. He knows he can’t do anything about missing this series.”
Scott Souza: #Celtics Terry Rozier said he expects Kyrie Irving to travel with C's back to Cleveland for Games 3 & 4. Doesn't know that for sure, but thinks it will happen.
Scott Souza: Injured #Celtics Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown both on bench supporting C's tonight for Game 1.
Jay King: Brad Stevens reiterated Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward should both come back fully healthy: "The injuries stink, but at the end of the day those guys are going to come back fully healthy and their careers won’t be impacted by those at all."
Scott Souza: #Celtics Terry Rozier on Kyrie Irving's influence during #NBAPlayoffs: He’s here with us. His spirit is with us. He’s still part of this team. He’s still our leader. He’s been doing a great job with that.
Scott Souza: #Celtics Brad Stevens: I was surprised to see Kyrie Irving walking around too. ... Talked about how sound and structurally sound the knee is. It was just getting screws out about infection ... Just talked to medical staff and they feel great about how he is a week after surgery.
The Boston Celtics announced that guard Kyrie Irving underwent successful surgery today to remove two screws in his left patella. “The surgery went exactly as planned, and we expect Kyrie to be fully healthy for training camp in the fall,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge.
Jay King: Al Horford said he was “shocked” to hear Kyrie Irving needed a second surgery. Obviously hurting for Kyrie, but, “We have to look forward. We can’t dwell on the past.”
Marc D'Amico: Al Horford on Kyrie’s season-ending surgery: “Obviously it makes it more difficult. Kyrie was the leader of this team and we went with him. But now we have to find a way to do it without him.”
Stevens, speaking to reporters prior to the Celtics' matchup against the Chicago Bulls, said Irving's recovery was going well. "Obviously, after the initial surgery, the thought was he'd be back in three to six weeks," Stevens said. "We thought it would be closer to three than six, the way he was initially progressing. Just one of those things out of his control. But he's bummed as you can imagine."
The prognosis remains good, according to Stevens. The knee is structurally sound, save for the infection. Doctors discovered the infection after taking out the tension wire, which had been the main source of Irving's discomfort. "Everybody told us from the get-go it was going to be a full recovery," Stevens said. "They just didn't anticipate having to take the screws out. But that shouldn't affect him at all as far as a full recovery goes."
Scott Souza: #Celtics Brad Stevens: There was no reason to expect that Kyrie Irving's knee was going to be an issue (early this season). He had played with it for 2 1/2 years. ... As far as structurally sound, and health of his knee from the surgery three years ago, it was really good.
Jay King: Based on what Brad Stevens is saying right now, the Celtics were expecting Kyrie Irving back closer to the beginning of the playoffs before realizing the complications that led to a second surgery.
When the Celtics acquired Irving from the Cavaliers last August, they knew he had dealt with lingering pain related to his 2015 procedure, and that he might eventually need a follow-up maintenance procedure. League sources said the team had laid out a plan to limit the wear and tear on Irving’s knee this year.
About four days after the March surgery, pathology reports showed bacteria on the tension wire, indicating the presence of an infection that likely would require the removal of the screws. Sources said the team aggressively sought other options and consulted with numerous orthopedic surgeons, particularly because Irving reported that his knee was feeling much better and that he was eager to return during this postseason, most likely in the conference semifinals. In the end, though, it was determined that another surgery was the only real choice.
"We’re not giving up on this,” the Celtics’ president of basketball operations told the Herald. “Absolutely not. We’ve competed with the best teams in the league with all the injuries we’ve had to Marcus [Smart] and Kyrie and Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis. We beat a hungry Oklahoma City team. We beat Portland on their home court. We beat Utah, who’s one of the hottest teams in the league fighting for their lives, on their home court. We beat Toronto last Saturday.”
Danny Ainge: “I’m excited about the playoffs. I really am. Like, Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin, this is their opportunity. And Jaylen [Brown] and Jayson [Tatum] and Marcus Morris and [Al] Horford and [Aron] Baynes and Greg Monroe, I mean, the whole group. These guys are looking forward to playing in the playoffs. And we have the luxury to give them a little bit of rest without taking them completely out of rhythm in these last four games, which is very rare to be able to do heading into the playoffs.”
“Of course, we were hopeful that the first procedure would work and that Kyrie could play at some point in the playoffs,” said Ainge. “And then unfortunately we won’t have him now. He’s a huge part of our team and a huge part of our future. The good news is we feel like he’ll be better than ever come training camp.”
Michael Pina: Since Kyrie's last game, Boston is shooting 41% from deep. That is very good. They also rank 24th in offensive rating.
The Celtics will have to regroup with the playoffs poised to start a few days after the April 11 regular-season finale. “I look forward to hearing how loud in gets in the TD Garden during the playoffs and experiencing how intense the environment gets,” Irving said.
Kyrie Irving: 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.
Kyrie Irving: 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
This Saturday, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will undergo a procedure to remove two screws implanted in his left patella after the patellar fracture he suffered during the NBA Finals in 2015. Following a mid-March procedure to remove a tension wire that had been implanted at the same time as the screws, pathology indicated the presence of a bacterial infection at the site of the hardware. To ensure that no infection remains in the knee, the screws will be removed. The fracture in Irving’s patella has completely healed, and his knee remains structurally sound. He is expected to make a full recovery in 4-5 months.
Gary Washburn: #Celtics say Kyrie Irving will undergo a second knee surgery to remove two screws and miss 4-5 months. Doctors discovered a bacterial infection caused by screws in first surgery. A five-month window means he should be ready for training camp.
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, league sources told ESPN. The Celtics are expected to make an announcement soon, sources said.
The Celtics and Irving are evaluating further medical options to treat his left knee, sources said. The loss of Irving is a devastating blow for Boston's hopes of competing for the Eastern Conference championship.
Marc D'Amico: Tonight’s crew + Rozier and Larkin “will be our team when the Playoffs start,” says Brad Stevens. Basically eliminated any chance of Kyrie being back for the start of the postseason.
Chris Forsberg: Brad Stevens on Kyrie Irving: “I saw him yesterday, spent a lot of time with him. Spirits were good. Bending, extending his knee on a training table. No on-court videos. No 360 dunks."
Adam Himmelsbach: Stevens said he's texted more with Kyrie: "He wants to be here; he wants to play. Nothing new from that standpoint, but his spirits seem good."
Adam Himmelsbach: Stevens on Kyrie: "I’ve texted with him. Left him a message this morning & haven’t heard back. But the timeline will be determined on how he feels & how quickly he can get back on the court & everything else. There’s still a process after that too to be ready to play in a game."
Mark Murphy: Stevens not taking it for granted that either Irving or Smart will be back: "There’s a big difference between (basketball activity) and playing, so we don’t know when we’re going to have those guys back."
Bobby Marks: The timetable (3-6 weeks) for return on the Kyrie Irving injury now allows the Celtics to sign a 16th player to a 10-Day Contract. Boston has met the criteria by having four players (Irving, Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis and Marcus Smart) miss three consecutive games to injury and each player unable to perform playing services due to injury or illness for a minimum of two weeks.
While removal of the wire should relieve irritation it was causing in Irving’s patellar tendon, the fractured patella has fully healed and Irving’s knee has been found to be completely structurally sound. Irving is expected to return to basketball activities in 3-6 weeks.
Tim Bontemps: The playoffs start three weeks from today. It would seem more likely than not he won't be available in the first round. twitter.com/ESPNForsberg/s…
In your opinion do you think [Kyrie Irving] will be back for playoffs? A. Sherrod Blakely: I think he’ll be back fairly close to the start of the first round. Should have a better sense of his return timetable after he has his procedure tomorrow.
The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Kyrie Irving will tomorrow undergo a minimally invasive procedure to alleviate irritation in his left knee. Further information will be provided following tomorrow’s procedure, and the team will have no further comment until that time.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Timetable on a return will come after procedure on Saturday, bur source says that expectation is that this will help alleviate the soreness in knee. twitter.com/espnforsberg/s…
Mark Murphy: At least they're in the building. Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown both in street clothes on bench tonight.
Jared Weiss: Stevens asked about potential for Irving surgery: “I have not talked to him and I don’t want to speak for others.”
With the lack of progress on his ailing left knee, Boston Celtics All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will get a second opinion on the injury later this week, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Irving, 25, has missed the past three games for the Celtics to rest the knee. There had been hope last week that Irving would return Sunday against New Orleans, but he remained out. Because of the lack of comfort in Irving’s knee, there is no set date for his return, league sources said.
Jared Weiss: Brad Stevens on Kyrie Irving knee second opinion: He probably is not going to be on the trip. That knee has been sore, but he’s worked hard to mange it. He’s getting a second opinion which is why he’s not going on the trip. That’s smart of him.
Marc D'Amico: Brad Stevens on Kyrie Irving (out - knee soreness): “I think he’s feeling better and better. He just doesn’t feel 100%. Until then, he’ll remain out.”
Adam Kaufman: Danny Ainge told @985TheSportsHub his knee injury history was considered at time #Celtics traded for him, but long-term prognostication is good. Expected maintenance issues. May need surgery at some point in next few offseasons. Being extra cautious right now.
Brian Robb: Kyrie Irving is unlikely to play Friday but will travel with team Friday. His knee imaging came back looking good, according to Stevens.
Irving is likely to miss several games, but Ainge said he thinks that Irving is “going to be fine” moving forward this season. “Kyrie’s knee has bothered him, and we’re being very careful,” Ainge said. “What we don’t want to do is rush Kyrie back simply because we don’t have Marcus and Jaylen. We’ll do what’s best for Kyrie in spite of what’s happening to everybody else.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: There's confidence that Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving's left knee soreness is no more than tendonitis and that he will not need to miss significant time, league sources tell ESPN. Irving is considered day-to-day.
Irving, who missed a game last week after knee soreness initially flared, did not return for the second half of Sunday's game. Boston, already playing without All-Star big man Al Horford (illness) and Jaylen Brown (concussion), watched a 12-point lead evaporate as Indiana rallied for the win. "I think [rest] will probably be the best thing, just instead of kind of hoping it gets better over the two or three days that it usually does," Irving said. "It's aching a little bit more than I wanted it to now, so I'm taking the necessary time."
December 4, 2021 | 8:41 pm EST Update
Sean Highkin: Chauncey Billups, who has interviewed for front-office jobs before, on if he has any interest in being both coach and GM: “I’m just trying to figure this one job out. I’ve got enough on my plate. I’m going to stick to this one job.”