Kyrie Irving will not make season debut for Cavaliers on Thursday

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving tweeted that he will not be returning to the team on Thursday.
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Despite a report to the contrary, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will not make his season debut on Thursday against the Thunder, he said on Twitter.

“Sorry to dwindle the news, but I won't be returning [Thursday],” Irving wrote. “It was wrongfully reported. When I do come back you'll hear it directly from me.”

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported early on Wednesday that Irving was planning to play in the Cavaliers’ next game.

Irving fractured his knee cap during Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals, and has missed the first 23 games of this season. The projected date for his return had been pushed back several times, which coach David Blatt said Tuesday was a result of his desire to be cautious with Irving and guard Iman Shumpert as they continued to recover from injuries.

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Shumpert, who missed the beginning of the season with a wrist injury, played only two games after his season debut before sustaining an injury to his groin. He left Cleveland’s win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night and did not return.

In 75 games last season, Irving averaged 21.7 points and 5.2 assists per game, trailing only LeBron James in those categories.

The Cavaliers (16–7) will play the Thunder (16–8) at 8 p.m. ET at Quicken Loans Arena.

- Erin Flynn