Kryrie Irving, Iman Shumpert may play on upcoming road trip
The long, winding and often frustrating road of rehabilitation following injury may finally be nearing an end for Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert.
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt indicated both players will join the team on its upcoming two-game road trip, where they Friday night against the Orlando Magic and concludes with a showdown Tuesday with the Boston Celtics.
“There’s a chance that one or two or both will play on the trip, but there’s also a chance they don’t,” Blatt said Thursday, via Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Chris Fedor. “We’ll see how they’re feeling.”
Both players have made it through three full practices, including Thursday’s final tuneup before departing for Orlando, so the signs are encouraging that one if not both Irving and Shumpert could see some live NBA action in the next five days.
Still, Blatt preached patience, indicating the team will play it safe with both guards.
“It’s a day-to-day thing with both of them,” he said. “We kind of like to let them get through the practice then the next morning gauge how they’re feeling. And then just go from there.”
Both players have yet to play this season, with Irving still recovering from the fractured left kneecap he suffered during Game 1 of the NBA Finals and Shumpert suffering a right wrist injury that required surgery in September.
Initial reports indicated the Cavaliers would play it extremely safe with Irving, with the speculation being he might not play until possibly as late as January, so he’s definitely defied the cautious expectations.
The Cavaliers, despite the absences of two of their key players, hold the best record in the Eastern Conference at 14-7. Still, the team just snapped a three-game losing streak and LeBron James has expressed some uneasiness with the team’s play at points this season.
With all that in mind, the sooner both Irving and Shumpert can get back on the court, the better.