Kyrie Irving out Wednesday vs. Hornets, no timetable for return
Kyrie Irving will miss a third consecutive game when the Brooklyn Nets host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, and the news concerning when the point guard may be ready to return is getting more and more ominous.
A lingering shoulder injury is the reason behind Irving’s ongoing absence, and despite an earlier belief that it would not turn into a longer-term injury, it sounds like an extended absence is a possibility.
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson noted after Tuesday’s practice that Irving did not take part in any capacity. Atkinson’s comments regarding when the Nets could expect Irving to come back — even to just the practice court — did not sound encouraging.
“I don’t want to comment on that,” Atkinson said, via Mollie Walker of the New York Post. “I think it’s way too early. I think it’s day-to-day right now. I think he’s working his tail off to get back. So, I definitely don’t want to speculate on the time frame.”
There reportedly has been no definitive timetable set for Irving’s eventual return, and a specialist told The Post that several days of rest would be advisable, if not weeks, given the nature of the injury.
“I said it before the game, I do know shoulders, that’s not fun,” Atkinson added. “I think we’ve probably all had something there. That’s just having full range of motion and being able to move that is so big, so obviously, he’s not feeling right. He will be out again [Wednesday]. I know he’s getting a ton of treatment. He’s living in the training room. Just got to get through it.”
Irving going down with an injury — after already having suffered a setback in training camp — is of course the last thing the Nets needed early on this season. The team had hopes that Irving would carry the load this season as Kevin Durant sits out the entire 2019-20 campaign.
While that obviously can still occur — barring an unforeseen development relating to Irving’s shoulder injury — the timing is unfortunate.
Irving just recently expressed eagerness about doing his part to help build team camaraderie, an encouraging sign given there have been whispers that the Nets were already growing weary of the mercurial superstar’s antics behind the scenes.