Kyrie Irving had surgery to repair his fractured kneecap in early June, making the original three- or four-month recovery time fall right around now. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, however, is reporting that, according to multiple sources, it looks like Kyrie won’t suit up for the opener, and according to one, he might not play until January.
Kneecap fractures aren’t especially common in the NBA, and recoveries vary depending on type and severity. Blake Griffin missed his entire rookie season after his surgery, but remained an ungodly combination of quicks, handle, and ups. Other comps are less encouraging, like Antonio McDyess, who returned from the injury to play another decade, but was never the same player.
The Cavs holding Kyrie out longer than the initial timetable as a precaution makes sense for a team that’s just backloading for the playoffs like a prefab Spurs roster. And even diminished, temporarily or otherwise, Kyrie has range and finishing ability to be solid, especially on this roster. But if Irving is really out until January, essentially double the original estimate, there’s at least a little concern that the phantasm BAMFing through defenses is in more jeopardy than we thought.
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