BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics will be without Kyrie Irving when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
Irving has been ruled out with left knee soreness, the team announced Monday morning. He did not attend the team’s morning shoot around, instead remaining at the hotel to receive treatment on his knee.
“He was experiencing some discomfort, some soreness,” Boston head coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “He woke up [Sunday] and felt a little bit better. He woke up today and did not feel any better. So, obviously, with that left knee we’re going to make sure we do right by Kyrie first and foremost and make sure he feels great.”
While you may be saying to yourself the Celtics don’t need Irving against the lowly Bulls, they were demolished in their only other visit to Chicago without Irving (who missed the game with a bruised left quad), falling 108-85 in one of their worst defeats of the season.
This will be the seventh game Irving has missed this season, though it has always been minor injuries that have sidelined the Boston All-Star (aside from when he missed a game with a broken face back in mid-November). This is the first time he’s missed a game with a knee injury though, which raises eyebrows after it was reported a few months ago that Irving would likely need a clean-up procedure on his knee this offseason.
The Celtics are 4-2 without Irving in the lineup.
Though Stevens said he didn’t have a lineup in mind for Monday night, Terry Rozier will likely get the start in place of Irving. Rozier is riding a hot streak, scoring in the double digits in 13 straight games, and has averaged 19.7 points off 44 percent shooting in his three games as a starter this season.
The Celtics also announced that center Daniel Theis is probable for Monday night after right hamstring soreness caused him to miss the last two games.