Thursday, March 7, 2013
Cavs don't plan to sit ailing Irving
By Brian Windhorst
The Cleveland Cavaliers are always careful with young franchise player Kyrie Irving, but the latest concern regarding his lingering knee injury may be more false alarm than fact.
Cavs coach Byron Scott seemed to drop a bit of a bombshell Thursday at practice when he said he'd consider shutting down Irving after the All-Star guard told reporters the only way he could get better is if he sat out the rest of the season. Irving recently missed three games with a hyperextended right knee.
"If Ky is hurting, I have no problem sitting him down," Scott said.
But team sources told ESPN.com there was a miscommunication between Irving and Scott. The team will continue to monitor Irving's knee and he'll continue to get treatment on it, but there are no plans of sitting him down for this injury.
Irving is expected to play against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.
The 20-year-old Irving played almost 38 minutes against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, and didn't seem to be slowed by the knee, which he banged against teammate Omri Casspi's knee in a practice two weeks ago.
After the game, Irving spoke of the injury.
"The only way I would get better is if I sit out for the rest of the season, and I'm not doing that," Irving said following the Cavs' 104-101 comeback win, in which he scored 11 points in the final 4:21.
Irving did not speak to the media on Thursday because he was getting treatment on the knee. Scott said he'd talk to the Cavs' athletic trainers to make sure everyone is on the same page with regard to the injury.
"If there is any way of doing more damage by continuing to play, then I'll find that out and we'll go from there," Scott said. "I want him (Irving) to go out there and play and be effective for us."
Irving, the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 2012, has missed 14 games this season with injuries. He sat out 11 games with a broken index finger, and the Cavs kept him out of the other three to allow his knee time to heal.
Irving returned Monday night against the New York Knicks.