Celtics's Kyrie Irving to miss playoffs after surgery
Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving will miss the playoffs in order to have surgery on his troublesome left knee.
Irving last month underwent a minimally invasive procedure to remove a tension wire from his leg, which was placed there after he suffered a broken kneecap in the 2015 NBA Finals.
However, the five-time All-Star will have another operation in an attempt to rid him of lingering problems, but he is not expected to return until August at the earliest.
"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," a Boston statement read.
"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 four-five months."
It is another blow to Boston's title hopes. The Celtics (53-25) lost star forward Gordon Hayward to a season-ending injury in their first match of the campaign, but still managed to secure the second-best record in the NBA's Eastern Conference, three games back of the Toronto Raptors entering Thursday's fixtures.
Irving was averaging a team-best 24.4 points per game along with 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds. He has not played since March 11.
In the 26-year-old's absence, the bulk of the point guard duties have fallen on Terry Rozier because Marcus Smart underwent surgery on his right thumb last month. Smart is hoping to return early in the playoffs.