Kyrie Irving will undergo season-ending surgery, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced Friday. The All-Star point guard’s injury occurred in overtime of last night’s thrilling opening to the NBA Finals. An MRI on his left knee revealed a fractured kneecap.
Irving has been plagued by injuries throughout the playoffs, but he returned in fine form for Game 1—and not just on the offensive end. He had four steals and an overtime-forcing block on MVP Stephen Curry.
It’s a devastating blow for the Cavs, who were already without star forward Kevin Love and lack much in the way of a supporting cast for LeBron James. Indeed, James and Irving combined for 67 of the team’s 100 points, and the Vegas odds have drastically swung in the Warriors’ favor since the news broke.
“Well, there are a few things that you would love to have going late in the season,” James said today. “That’s being healthy, having a great rhythm, and then you need a little luck as well. We’ve had a great rhythm. We haven’t had much luck, and we haven’t been healthy. But I haven’t gotten discouraged.”
While the injury itself—not to mention Irving’s limping off the court—was hard to watch, he’s clearly trying to stay strong for his teammates. Irving just posted this note on Instagram.
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I want to thank everyone for the well wishes. Saddened by the way I had to go out but it doesn't take away from being apart of a special playoff run with my brothers. Truly means a lot for all the support and love. I Gave it everything I had and have no regrets. I love this game no matter what and I'll be back soon. To my brothers: You already know what the deal is. And to Delly: "ICE it down del" *Big Perk voice *
According to ESPN, the surgery will require three to four months of recovery and will be hndled by head team physician Dr. Richard Parker.
The series resumes Sunday night in Oakland, California.
Photo via Kyrie Irving/Instagram