Kyrie Irving hopes to return to the court for the Nets this season but admitted that he may need shoulder surgery.
Irving spoke to reporters for the first time on Saturday since injuring his right shoulder in mid-November. He last played on Nov. 14 against the Nuggets and the team later diagnosed him with a shoulder impingement. Irving said he chose to get a cortisone shot on Dec. 24 instead of having arthroscopic surgery.
"I am in a better place now that it has been a significant amount of time," Irving said, per ESPN. "The next step in any progression was to either get a cortisone shot or to get surgery. That was the ultimatum I was fixed with. Now, I'm just doing the best I can to live off this cortisone and move forward if I need surgery in the future."
Irving added that he and Brooklyn's medical team will reevaluate in a month or two whether he needs surgery. He said that the thought of having surgery this season "definitely crossed my mind," but he would rather work towards returning to play.
"I want to go out and play," Irving said, according to the Associated Press. "So just continue to rehab and live the results of me going out there and giving it an actual shot, going out there, being with the guys, seeing where we can land and then move forward after the season."
Irving said he started to feel pain on Nov. 4 when the Nets faced the Pelicans. He continued to play during Brooklyn's five-game road trip until he was struggling to lift his shoulder due to the pain.
"It really is disheartening when you're working your tail off to be a certain level and then your shooting shoulder just starts to give out on you a little bit," Irving said.
The Nets have not provided a timetable for the six-time All-Star's return.