The Cavaliers announced Monday that Kyrie Irving will miss at least two weeks after suffering a left biceps injury during the Cavaliers' 102-80 road loss to the Clippers on Sunday. Although an MRI revealed that Irving strained the long head tendon of his left biceps, a course of action will not be set until after doctors can evaluate the injury's response to a period of rest.
Should Irving be sidelined exactly two weeks, he would miss the Cavaliers' next eight contests, including games against four of the league's top teams (Miami, Oklahoma City, Houston and Indiana) plus a match-up against New York, who is battling to get into the East's postseason picture, just like Cleveland.
The two-time All-Star point guard appeared to sustain the injury with a little more than two minutes remaining in the first quarter and the Clippers leading 23-12. Irving swiped upwards at the ball to prevent Blake Griffin from attempting a putback shot in the paint, knocking the ball out of bounds. Immediately after the play, Irving began favoring his left arm and he quickly checked out of the game to receive medical attention. He would not return, departing with two points (on 0-for-5 shooting), four rebounds and two assists in 10 minutes.
The Cavaliers (26-41) are 4.5 games out of the East's No. 8 playoff seed with 15 games remaining on their schedule. The loss of their leading scorer and assist man likely seals their fate, pushing them toward the lottery for the fourth straight season. The loss of Irving, the young face of the Cavaliers franchise, marks one final disappointment during a season that was full of them. Offseason investments in Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark failed to produce major dividends, 2012 No. 4 pick Dion Waiters found himself at the center of rumored locker room turmoil, 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett made a limited impact before a knee injury sidelined him recently, a midseason trade for Luol Deng failed to transform a sluggish season and the trade deadline acquisition of Spencer Hawes hasn't proven to be a game-changer. Cleveland fired GM Chris Grant last month and now possesses the ninth-worst record in the league, entering Monday's action. The end of the 2013-14 regular season is a little more than four weeks away, and it's possible that a string of losses over the next two weeks would push the Cavaliers to the brink of elimination from the playoffs.
Coach Mike Brown will turn to Jack and rookie guard Matthew Dellavedova in Irving's absence. Cleveland plays host to Miami on Tuesday.
The injury bug has repeatedly bitten Irving during his three-year NBA career. Back in March 2013, he missed multiple weeks with a shoulder injury, and he suffered a hairline fracture in his finger back in November 2012. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft missed 15 games for the Cavaliers during his rookie season and sat out for an extended period of time due to a concussion. He also broke his hand during the summer of 2012, an injury that prevented him from participating in the Las Vegas Summer League. A toe injury also caused him to miss a majority of his one and only season at Duke.
Irving, 21, is averaging 21.4 points, 6.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game this season.