BOSTON (CBS) — Kyrie Irving doesn’t sound too concerned about his sore left knee, but the Celtics guard hinted that he may be taking some time off so the ailment doesn’t get any worse ahead of the NBA Playoffs.
Irving sat out the second half of Sunday night’s 99-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers, and thinks rest could be the best remedy for the lingering soreness in his knee.
“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 told reporters after Sunday night’s game. “It’s aching a little bit more than I wanted it to now, so I’m taking the necessary time.”
Irving said the knee started to ache last Saturday night in Boston’s loss to the Rockets in Houston. He missed the C’s next game, a blowout win over the Chicago Bulls that following Monday. It’s likely that Irving, who suffered a broken knee cap in the NBA Finals back in 2015, will need to undergo a clean-up procedure on his knee this offseason.
Boston’s leading scorer said he isn’t concerned about the injury, but he and the Celtics’ training staff didn’t want to take any chances when the knee started to act up again on Sunday night.
“I’m not concerned. Where we are in the season, I’m pretty comfortable,” he said. “I think that competitively, I think that’s more or less what I’m concerned about. When I actually do get back on the floor, I want to feel the level I expect myself to be at and I want to play at and being able to sustain it. Right now, I’m not able to do that. I just got to do that.”
It’s unclear how much time Irving may miss, but Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Irving will rest until his knee is back up to speed.
“If he doesn’t feel 100 percent, then we need to have him sit,” said Stevens.
Exercising caution probably isn’t a bad idea for Irving and the Celtics. With 15 games remaining in the regular season, Boston is 3.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, with a pair of head-to-head matchups in the final two weeks. But the Celtics have a comfortable seven-game lead over the red-hot Pacers, so they are likely locked into that No. 2 seed.
Irving’s knee isn’t the only injury the Celtics are dealing with at the moment. Guard Jaylen Brown isn’t expected to play this week after suffering a concussion on a nasty fall last Thursday, and reserve big man Daniel Theis will undergo an MRI on Monday after he suffered a knee injury in the second half of Sunday’s loss. All-Star Al Horford also did not play Sunday night due to an illness.
The Celtics are off on Monday and Tuesday before hosting the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
Update: On a day that seems to have nothing but bad news for the Celtics, Adrian Wojnarowski reported there is “confidence” that Irving’s knee soreness is just tendonitis and he will not miss significant time.
Celtics fans can exhale a little bit, but we’ll just have to wait and see.