Kyrie Irving to see shoulder specialist as injury lingers for Nets PG

Rick Laughland

Just when you think the Nets are about to turn the corner they encounter a setback. Kyrie Irving has battling a nagging shoulder injury all season long and now it was reported that he is seeing a specialist too be reevaluated. 

The Nets' guard was not at practice on Tuesday, and reporters pelted head coach Kenny Atkinson with questions regarding Irving's status and whether the team can expect to lose him for the entire year. 

While it's clearly premature to rule him out for a prolonged period of time, Irving was anticipating returning post- All Star break before the latest setback. 

Many Irving detractors have questioned his heart and committment to the team stemming from his subpar 2019 with the Celtics, but it's the New Jersey native's durability that should really be brought into question. 

Oddly enough, the Nets are locked into the seventh seed with a five game lead over the Washington Wizards. Brooklyn doesn't have a realistic chance of moving up the Eastern Conference rankings and it's s unlikely, even without Irving, that the Nets will fall out of the playoff chase. So with 29 games remaining in the season, Irving's status doesn't loom as large for 2020 as it does for 2021. 

Kevin Durant has been ramping up his workouts and progress in rehabs with rumblings that he could be ready for a late-season return, but it appears the Nets are concerned about the long-term health of both star players. As fans anxiously await Irving's shoulder update, it's clear that the front office and training staff are taking the cautious approach to protect the health of the cornerstones of their franchise.