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Report: Celtics fear Kyrie Irving knee injury could be season-ending

Kyrie Irving is expected to get a second opinion on his ailing left knee on Thursday, an injury that has sidelined the Boston Celtics point guard five of the past seven games.

Regardless of the outcome of Thursday’s exam, however, are more troubling developments, as a report has surfaced indicating the Celtics have some real concern over the extent of Irving’s knee injury.

FOX Sports’ Chris Broussard suggests that there is “some sentiment” within the Celtics organization that Irving conceivably may be lost for the season.

“I will say this: There is some sentiment within the Celtics organization—let’s see what happens with the second opinion—that possibly, this is far from definite and I don’t want to sound the alarm, but possibly, this could put his season in jeopardy,” Broussard said Thursday during an appearance on FS1’s “The Herd,” as transcribed by Bleacher Report. “If that’s the case, then [general manager] Danny Ainge is looking more at, ‘You know what, if it’s the case, we’ll rest him now.’

“Don’t push him through this season just to have him play in the playoffs when the knee’s not really right. Let’s get him healthy, and then he and [Gordon] Hayward come back next season. Now, I’m not saying that’s gonna happen. I’m just saying there is some thinking that let’s see what happens with this.”

The Celtics (48-23) have gone 2-2 in Irving’s absence and currently occupy the second seed in the Eastern Conference, 4.5 games back of the Toronto Raptors. Irving has played remarkably well since being acquired by the Celtics this past offseason in a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Boston’s championship aspirations obviously would be dealt a serious blow should Irving be unable to return this season, one that presumably from which the team could not recover. While it is premature to conclude Irving won’t be back, the report certainly is an ominous one for a team expected to compete for a spot in the NBA Finals.