Kyrie Irving sprained his left shoulder in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 100-96 loss to the Toronto Raptors after a collision with Jonas Valančiūnas. The injury will keep him out for the next three to four weeks.
This comes as just another addition to the long list of injuries that Irving has suffered ever since high school, dating all the way back to his first days at Duke.
I've looked at this topic once already this year, after Irving went down with a fractured index finger on his left hand, trying my best to determine whether or not Irving is injury-prone, or just plain unlucky.
Quickly, let's run down the list of injuries that he's suffered ever since starting with Duke.
Irving played in just a few regular-season games with Duke after going down with a mysterious, nameless foot injury. Duke's associate head coach Chris Colllins did his best to qualify what it was (via ESPN):
It’s a combination of things. There’s a ligament and some bone in there that have been damaged. And from what we’ve seen, it’s a very unique injury. It’s a form of turf toe but it’s a little more severe than that. It’s been hard to explain in layman’s terms. But because it’s in the ball of his foot, that’s a really dicey area. That’s where you do all your cutting and your jumping. And that’s where you do all of your pushing off from.
Irving's first NBA injury came as he collided with Dwyane Wade in February, hitting his head on Wade's knee and suffering a concussion.
A bit down the road, Irving suffered a sprained right shoulder (the one he just sprained was lefty) in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks, eventually keeping him out of the majority of the rest of the team's games for precautionary reasons.
Over the summer, Irving broke his right hand after slapping a padded wall during a practice with the Cavs. He didn't miss any games with the injury, but it held him out of training camp for a bit.
A few months after that bad boy was healed, Irving broke the index finger on his left hand, holding him out of play for about three weeks.
Shortly after his return, Irving was knocked down by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, causing his face to slam on the ground, breaking his jaw and putting him in a protective mask.
More recently, Irving missed three games thanks to a hyper-extended knee, something that was looked at with caution by the Cavaliers, but ultimately caused few problems following his return.
So there you have it. That's seven separate injuries over the course of just over two years, each causing him to miss at least some activity with his team, all impacting different parts of his body.
Calling them related would be ridiculous, but calling them concerning if only for the makeup of Irving's body is completely on point.
The way Kyrie plays is downright jarring at times. Half of the things that give him so many jaw-dropping plays at the end of games are the same things that put his body in danger.
Perhaps he's too skinny, or his body just isn't built to deal with the extreme impact of the NBA game, in which case the Cavs have a much bigger problem on their hands than the individual games that Kyrie is missing.
However, with the high-profile case of Irving's injuries, it seems as if someone would have come out and evaluated whether or not these injuries do stem from a centralized problem of an injury-prone body.
Without a degree in sports medicine, all I can do is speculate. While it seems serious that Irving has been out so frequently, it seems also important to point out that he is still just 20 for another few weeks, and his body could still be maturing.
For the time being, it seems pertinent to blame the youthful body that Irving has, the style of play that causes him to be in harm's way, thus making him injury-prone, thanks to some bad luck.