The Boston Celtics were dealt a fairly scary blow earlier this week when guard Kyrie Irving went to the ground immediately during a game against the San Antonio Spurs. It came to light shortly after that Irving had been scratched in both eyes by Spurs guard Marco Belinelli.
After the injury, Irving was able to return to the game but wound up sitting out Boston’s matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. As Brian Robb of the Boston Sports Journal revealed, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said the concern had grown over both eyes prior to that game.
“The right eye was the initial concern and the left eye showed some inflammation today,” Stevens said.
Irving stated after the game that Belinelli “smacked the s*** out of me,” according to John Karalis of MassLive, and it’s apparent the injury has lingered a bit. We’re going to take a look at the latest on Irving’s injury and his potential timeline for a return, as it seems he won’t be out too long.
Brad Stevens Provides Positive Update on Kyrie Irving
Prior to the Celtics’ game against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Stevens offered a positive update on the guard’s outlook. As Adam London of NESN cited, the coach said Irving’s right eye is feeling better and that it won’t be a long-term injury.
“Kyrie’s had inflammation in his left eye,” Stevens said. “He got swiped across the face and both eyes. The right eye is actually feeling a little bit better. But he’s out tonight and he’ll be reevaluated tomorrow morning by the same doctor that looked at him today.
“Nothing long term from what I’ve been told, which is good.”
Ahead of Friday’s game, The Athletic’s Jay King revealed that Stevens said Irving was able to get a light workout in on Thursday as well.
At this point, it seems Boston is playing it safe with Irving and simply making sure he gets the all-clear before pushing to return. After all, it’s still fairly early in the season and the team will need their All-Star for the second half of the year.
Kyrie Irving Ruled out vs. Mavericks & Likely Back Next Game
Although Irving is trending in the right direction and his eye seems to be getting better, he won’t return to the floor for Friday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. As The Boston Globe reported, the Celtics ruled him out for the matchup with rookie Luka Doncic and company, but stated he will “likely return against the Nets on Monday.”
Terry Rozier will step into the starting lineup for a second consecutive game. In his last start, Rozier played 32 minutes while racking up 16 points on 6-10 shooting with five assists, five steals and three rebounds. Both Gordon Hayward (32 minutes) and Jaylen Brown (29 minutes) also saw extended roles off the bench.
In Irving’s absence, Hayward had an excellent game, scoring 35 points with five assists while knocking down 14-18 shot attempts to lead the Celtics to a 115-102 win over Minnesota. All three players should be busy against the Mavericks.