UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 11, at 9:32 p.m. ET by Michael Dulka
Irving returned to the game to start the third quarter and looks to have avoided major injury:
Kyrie Irving starts second half, drives to basket, scores in traffic. Well, that answers that.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) February 12, 2013
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The Akron Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd tweeted about the injury:
Irving limping on his left ankle, coming out of the game in final minute of second quarter. Rolled it on Shved's foot— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) February 12, 2013
Irving left the game with just over 20 seconds left in the second quarter as the Cavaliers trailed the Timberwolves 48-46. He scored nine points on 4-of-8 shooting and collected three assists before leaving the game with the left ankle injury.
Irving will be incredibly hard for the Cavaliers to replace should he miss extended time with the injury. The second-year man is having a spectacular season averaging 24 points, 5.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game.
He's been a force for the Cavaliers since returning from a hand injury that cost him 11 games earlier this season. While the Cavaliers have struggled this season to a 16-35 record, Irving has been the brightest spot for the organization and its fans. Any injury to the face of the franchise is certainly worrisome.
Shaun Livingston and guard Dion Waiters will be called upon to carry out the point guard and scoring duties in any absence. The pair have combined to average 19.4 points per game. Needless to say, the Cavaliers will need to boost their scoring from every player they put on the court if Irving misses time.
The injury could throw Irving's All-Star participation into question. The breakout star is scheduled to compete in the Rising Stars Challenge, the Three-Point Contest and the actual All-Star Game. The severity of the injury will likely determine whether Irving participates and how much.