Kyrie Irving Injury: Terry Rozier Among Four Celtics Set to Fill Void

Kyrie Irving

Getty Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving

After a slow start to the NBA season, the Boston Celtics used an eight-game win streak to push themselves squarely back into the mix in the Eastern Conference. A large reason for that was thanks to the strong play of Kyrie Irving. The All-Star guard has been on a tear as of late but suffered an eye injury against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

The injury left Irving’s status for Wednesday’s nationally-televised game against the Minnesota Timberwolves up in the air. Irving, who’s averaging 23.1 points, 6.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game, has now topped the 20-point mark in eight of the nine games prior to the Spurs matchup. He was forced to leave the game against San Antonio early.

As Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe revealed, the decision was made Wednesday afternoon that Irving would sit for the game against the Timberwolves.

We’re going to break down the latest on the status of Boston’s star heading into Wednesday’s game and who looks poised to step up in his absence.

Kyrie Irving Scratched Both Corneas

As the New York Post revealed, courtesy of the Associated Press, Irving’s injury was suffered when he collided with Marco Belinelli. In turn, the Celtics guard suffered a scratched cornea in both eyes. He admitted to not feeling great after the game against the Spurs.

“I’m wearing sunglasses, so not too good,” Irving said when asked how he felt, “but it’ll be all right though.”

Shortly after the injury occurred John Karalis of Mass Live quoted Celtics coach Brad Stevens on the injury, who cited that Irving would need to take antibiotics for the injury.

“Kyrie has a scratched eye” Stevens said. “He’ll have antibiotics for that. I don’t know what that means beyond tonight.”

Boston draws another nationally televised game on Friday when they face the Dallas Mavericks, so Irving will likely be considered questionable for that one. From there, they get the weekend off before welcoming the Brooklyn Nets to town on Monday. It would make sense for the Celtics to give Irving Friday’s game off, as that would allow nearly a full week for his eye to heal.

Production With Kyrie Irving Sidelined

While it’s expected that Terry Rozier will step in and take over the starting point guard role, the production of a few specific players increases with Irving’s absence. As Basketball Monster shows, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, Gordon Hayward, and Rozier all see solid usage increases.

Those four names specifically have all played over 800 minutes this season with Irving off the floor and surprisingly, Morris has the biggest usage increase, going from 21.2 to 25.8. Brown jumps from 21.5 to 24.7, Hayward 18.4 to 20.6 and Rozier 18.1 to 19.8. Each player is set to see a decent workload with the star guard off the floor and will be relied upon to do some heavy lifting.

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