In an unfortunate Kyrie Irving shoulder injury update, the Brooklyn Nets guard will be out for the rest of the season due to surgery. Irving’s Nets are still within contention for a lower playoff spot, but now that could be in jeopardy with the top star sidelined.
However, the Brooklyn Nets are intent on having Irving healthy for the future, rather than risking his well-being now for a playoff push.
Kyrie Irving out for the season due to shoulder surgery
On Thursday, ESPN reported that Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said that Irving will have season-ending surgery for his right shoulder.
The shoulder has been an ongoing issue for Irving as he missed 26 games in a row this season due to “a right shoulder impingement.” According to Irving he first started to experience the pain as of Nov. 4 when the Nets played the New Orleans Pelicans.
Marks provided further comments to the media about Irving’s situation on Thursday.
During his remarks, the Nets GM mentioned that the team looks at their “players’ long-term health as No. 1 priority.” He added, “we’re looking at the big picture here.”
"We look at our players' long-term health as a No. 1 priority…we're looking at the big picture here."
GM Sean Marks' full comments on Kyrie Irving's injury development 🎥 pic.twitter.com/shepf5sIjz
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 20, 2020
Back in December, Irving went to see an Arizona-based specialist for his shoulder. He received a cortisone shot in late December and had hoped it would “eliminate an immediate need for surgery.”
For the current season, the Brooklyn Nets star was averaging 27.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game.
Irving’s injury history includes knee surgery, follow-up procedures
This was Irving’s first season with the Brooklyn Nets after spending two seasons with the Boston Celtics. It will also be his shortest season to date as he’s played in just 20 games, according to Basketball-Reference stats.
Back in 2015, Irving needed surgery for a fractured left kneecap injury he suffered during the NBA Finals. His Cavs team would go on to lose to the Warriors in six games with Irving watching from afar.
In 2018, Irving had a procedure to remove a tension wire in his left knee and then had another procedure to remove screws from his patella based on that 2015 surgery he had. That second procedure sidelined Irving for the Celtics’ entire postseason.
Since January of 2019, Irving has dealt with a myriad of issues. They’ve include less serious injuries such as hip strain, thigh contusion, illness, and a quad issue, per FOX Sports.
His previous lowest games played total for a season was back in 2011-12. That was his rookie season when Irving played in just 51 games.
As of this report, the Brooklyn Nets are 25-28 overall and sitting in No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. They’re two games ahead of the No. 8 Orlando Magic.
The Washington Wizards are three games behind Orlando, while the Chicago Bulls are five games back. Things could get interesting should the Nets falter without Irving for the remainder of the season.
In addition to Irving now ruled out, Kevin Durant has been out all season. KD hasn’t played since signing with the Nets in the offseason due to his Achilles tendon injury he suffered in last year’s NBA Finals. That said, once this Brooklyn team is healthy, they look like they’ll be a dangerous contender in the East.