Rumor: Kyrie Irving’s lengthy absence from Nets due to more than just a shoulder injury
Irving hasn’t played since Nov. 14 due to a right shoulder impingement. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson says Irving still hasn’t been cleared for contact.
Moose and I just interviewed @RicBucher and he's hearing that Kyrie Irving is missing games for more than just a shoulder injury.
— Maggie Gray (@MaggieGray) December 27, 2019
I listened to it. It’s some mental stuff he’s got going on. Sounds like it might be stemming from what happened with the Boston return game.
— Alexa Tsudik (@AlexaRenee189) December 27, 2019
When asked by reporters if surgery has been explored as an option for Irving, Atkinson said, “I don’t think we’re there.”
Irving has played in 11 games this season for the Nets. He’s averaging 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists while shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from beyond the arc and 93.7 percent from the free-throw line.
ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell explained in detail exactly what Irving is going through at the moment in terms of his shoulder injury, via Malika Andrews of ESPN:
“There is a very small space at the top of the shoulder where several structures intersect,” Bell said. “If there is inflammation or tissue damage to any of the structures in the area … the pinching, or impingement, that results when the arm goes through elevation can cause pain.
“For a basketball player who has this in his dominant arm, the most obvious limitation would occur anytime he elevates his arm to shoot the ball, but it can be equally problematic when trying to play defense or anytime there is even incidental direct contact.
“These things can be addressed simultaneously. The trick is to balance the strengthening and returning to activity with proper loading to not trigger a renewed inflammatory response. While this may sound easy, there is no simple formula.”
Nets fans can’t wait to get Irving back in the lineup, but it’s clear the team is going to be cautious with his injury.
Hopefully, Kyrie Irving is doing okay mentally as well.