Duke's Kyrie Irving in Walking Boot With Sprained Toe

Mike KlineAnalyst IDecember 7, 2010

Kyrie Irving suffered a sprained toe last Saturday against Butler.
Kyrie Irving suffered a sprained toe last Saturday against Butler.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke super freshman Kyrie Irving is apparently in a walking boot after suffering a sprained toe Saturday against Butler.

Irving who is averaging 17 points and five assists per game suffered the injury late in the game but came back in after a brief few minutes spent on the sideline.

The good news for the Blue Devils is that their upcoming opponents should not provide too daunting a task should the No. 1 team in the country find themselves sans Irving.

Still one can imagine how Mike Krzyzewski might use this as a learning opportunity to give his team some experience playing without the sensational freshman.

Nolan Smith has played the point some this season and in the past. Seth Curry and freshman Tyler Thornton could also see some extended minutes running the point if Irving is unable to go.

Duke might be wise to sit Irving. Even if the sprain isn't severe, if it is not given sufficient time to rest and heal it could potentially cause a lingering problem as the season wears on.

The upcoming schedule includes three straight home games from December 8 to December 20 against the likes of Bradley, St. Louis and Elon.

The Blue Devils also have exam week sandwiched in between so by not playing Irving for at least a couple of those games plus the limited time they have to practice during exams should give him time to heal.

However, in this day and age given how so many athletes play through injury it wouldn't be surprising to see Irving in the starting line up against Bradley, Wednesday night.