The Cleveland Cavaliers’ playoff hopes have hit a major speed bump with only 12 games left in the regular season. Last Sunday, when the Cavs played the Los Angeles Clippers, point guard Kyrie Irving went down with an injury to his left bicep.
All-Star MVP Irving injured himself while trying to strip the ball away from Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin. The injury happened in the first quarter of the game and Irving did not return to play.
According to the team, Irving was evaluated at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health following his return to Cleveland. The MRI revealed a strain in the long head tendon of Irving’s left biceps. The injury will sideline him for at least two weeks.
The good news for Cavs’ fans is Irving will most likely not need surgery. The bicep was just strained and not torn, which would of resulted in definite surgery. Irving will be reevaluated in two weeks to make the final decision on if surgery is necessary.
The bad news is that an already injured Cleveland team will now be fighting for a playoff spot without their best player. At the earliest the Cavs will get Irving back with only a week and a half left in the season.
Since Irving has been out, the Cavs have dropped four straight games. Guard Dion Waiters and company were able to put up a fight in games against the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, but were unable to finish the game without their star.
Irving’s injury could not of come at a worse time. The Cavs were trying to make a late season push into the playoffs. Cleveland sits six and a half games out of the final playoff spot in the East. Now the odds of making the playoffs seem almost impossible.
Cleveland fans are also left questioning whether their star is injury prone. In all three of his NBA seasons, Irving has missed time due to a variety of injuries. Irving played 51 games in the 2011-12 season, 59 games in the 2012-13 season, and now will miss time after 64 games in the current season. It should be noted that in 2011 the season was shortened to only 66 games due to the lockout. Irving also missed most of his one and only season at Duke University.
It is worrying to think that a 22-year-old is constantly battling injuries so young in his career. If the Cavs want to make the playoffs soon, they need their best players to be healthy at the end of the season.
Fans should hope the team shuts down Irving for the rest of the season even if he can come back for the last couple games. The Cavs can not afford for their best player and selling point to free agents this summer to become more hurt.
In the meantime, Guard Seth Curry has signed a 10-day contract with the Cavs to help out in the backcourt. In 36 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, Curry has averaged 19.4 points and 5.9 assists.