Kyrie Irving will have surgery.
The Boston Celtics announced Friday that Irving will undergo a minimally invasive procedure Saturday to alleviate irritation in his left knee.
It’s unclear how long Irving will be sidelined, though, as the Celtics indicated in their press release that they’d have more information after the point guard’s procedure and will have no further comment until that time.
Irving, acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers over the offseason, has been out since March 11 due to a nagging knee issue. He was expected to receive a second opinion Thursday, so Friday’s update comes as no surprise, although it offers little clarity as to when the five-time All-Star will return.
There’s obviously a chance Irving’s season could be over. Boston has just 11 games remaining in the regular season, which ends April 11, so he’d need a quick recovery to return in time for the playoffs (or at some point during the postseason).
Plus, the Celtics are dealing with several other injuries — Gordon Hayward (leg) and Daniel Theis (knee) both are (likely) done for the season, while Marcus Smart (thumb) wouldn’t be available until at least the second round of the playoffs — and they ultimately could decide to shut down their best player to avoid his injury lingering into next season, when they’ll theoretically have a better chance of winning the NBA Finals.
That said, it’s notable Irving is undergoing the surgery so soon and that it’s considered “minimally invasive.” Perhaps the Celtics simply would announce he was undergoing season-ending surgery if that indeed was the case and this approach instead suggests he’ll be back at some point this season.
In short, we don’t know. But rest clearly wasn’t enough for Irving, who had screws inserted into his left knee in 2015 after suffering a fractured kneecap in the NBA Finals. And he’ll need some work done as a result.
Not the best birthday gift for Irving, who turned 26 on Friday.