Kyrie Irving: Recovery from Knee Infection a 'Long, Long F--king 2 Months'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2018

Boston Celtics's Kyrie Irving plays against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 8, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving missed his team's run to the Eastern Conference Finals after undergoing knee surgery in April, but had he not gone under the knife, things could have been much worse after it was revealed he had an infection.

Now, he is just glad to be able to put it all behind him.

Irving spoke on his operation at USA Basketball camp on Thursday, via ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk:

"I mean, you ask anybody with an infection, they will probably try to downplay it. It's a personal thing because your body is going through it. I was fighting an infection in a specific place in your body where you can't necessarily reach with your hands. You got to go in there and kind of see what's going on, and what happened for me was, the metal wiring and the screws that I had in there, the infection was on that, so I had to remove that and then be on antibiotics for about two months.

"It could have evolved to staph, but good thing we caught it early. I am glad that is done. That was a long, long f--king two months."

Irving revealed Thursday, via Youngmisuk, that a staph infection could have come from the infection discovered on the metal wiring and screws in his knee. Fortunately, it was caught in time to avoid such a scenario. 

The All-Star added that he should "easily" be 100 percent for training camp, which typically gets underway in late September or early October. He has not yet been cleared to participate in five-on-five activities.

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Last year, Boston entered the season as the biggest threat to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East after acquiring Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, their title hopes took a serious hit on opening night when Hayward suffered a dislocated ankle and a fractured tibia just minutes into the season.

Still, Irving managed to keep the team near the top of the Eastern Conference standings, averaging 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. However, he was lost for the season after his knee injury flared up on March 11.

Just like that, the Celtics were without their star offseason acquisitions. And yet, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown got the team to within one win of the NBA Finals. Adding Irving and Hayward back into the mix figures to make Boston the favorite to come out of the East now that James has moved to the Western Conference. 

Irving is itching to get back to work with his teammates and finally have a chance to play with Hayward. For now, though, he needs to make sure he is fully recovered before he steps back on the court.