Well color me surprised. We might actually have some good news, Cavs fans. And we can thank Luke Walton. Sorta.
Kyrie Irving participated in practice on Saturday and although there was no official news on Irving’s left shoulder injury, the Plain Dealer’s Jodie Valade reports that Walton let slip that Irving could be back soon.
“I still believe that we’re all in this together and we’re going to play better basketball these last 11 games. Hopefully with Kyrie coming back, that can give us that spark needed to get us going in the right direction again,” Walton said Saturday after practice.
Now, I don’t want to get too excited.Assuming Luke Walton isn’t lying, this is definitely a pleasant surprise. Given Kyrie’s injury history and the stank of tanking looming over these final eleven games, most Cavs fans have all but assumed that Irving has been shut down for the rest of the season. And while Luke Walton is not a medical doctor and can’t clear Kyrie to play, the fact Irving is playing hard in practice and his teammates are assuming he’ll be back soon can only count as good news.
Irving, 21, has missed 20 games this season due to various injuries and is averaging 23 points and 5.7 assists in his second year. The All-Star guard and reigning Rookie-of-the-Year appeared in 49 of possible 66 games during last season’s lockout shortened campaign (that’s 37 missed games in two seasons for those of you scoring at home). Irving has missed eight games with this current injury and hasn’t played since March 10th against Toronto. The Cavs have gone 1-7 during Irving’s absence (to be fair, Dion Waiters has missed the last five games due to loose cartilage in his knee).