Kyrie Irving wants to win the war, not the battle, and that mindset could leave the Boston Celtics temporarily shorthanded.
Irving didn’t play in the second half of Boston’s loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night due to left knee soreness. It’s the same knee that required surgery during the 2015 offseason and has caused him to miss a handful of games this season. After Sunday’s exacerbation, the Celtics point guard hinted he may take an extended break to make sure his knee is healthy for the playoffs.
“I think (taking time off) will probably be the best thing, just instead of kind of hoping that it gets better over the two or three days, which it usually does,” Irving said after Sunday’s game, via MassLive.com’s Jay King. “It’s aching a little bit more than I want it to now, so I’m just going to take the necessary time.”
Irving sat out last Monday’s game against the Chicago Bulls to rest his knee, which he said was particularly sore after the Houston Rockets game two days prior. The 25-year-old insisted he’s not overly concerned about the knee being an issue going forward, but still plans to take extra precaution to avoid a more serious injury.
“I’ve been down that road before,” Irving said. “I’ve had a fractured kneecap already. So, I think taking games like this, being smart about it probably will put me in a better position not to be out for a long period of time. That’s the last thing I want to do.”
The Celtics are firmly entrenched as the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed, 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Toronto Raptors and seven games ahead of the third-place Pacers. With 15 games remaining in the regular season, they’d be wise to heed Irving’s words and give the All-Star guard as much time off down the stretch as necessary.