Kyrie Irving Won't Play for Nets vs. Spurs Because of Facial Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2021

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has been ruled out for Wednesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs because of a facial contusion. 

Irving suffered the injury early in the second half of Tuesday's 115-107 victory over the Chicago Bulls:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Kyrie Irving took an inadvertent elbow to the face from Nikola Vucevic and was helped by trainers. He eventually walked to the locker room under his own power. https://t.co/EZoyjHZBJt

Injuries have been a significant part of the story for Irving since he signed with the Nets in July 2019. He was limited to 20 appearances during his first year with the team because of a lingering shoulder injury, which eventually required season-ending surgery last March.

This season he's been sidelined by various ailments, including finger, back and groin injuries along with a stint in the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols. 

Irving has been his typically productive self when healthy. He's averaged 27.2 points, 6.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 52 appearances this season.

James Harden, who already splits ball-handling duties with Irving, takes on an even larger role in that regard whenever the seven-time All-Star is sidelined. However, Harden has been out with a hamstring injury for the last 20 games, though he plans to play Wednesday, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. Landry Shamet and Mike James are among the other options for more backcourt minutes.

No team can match the Nets' high-end talent when Irving, Harden and Kevin Durant are all healthy, but injuries are one thing that could derail a potential championship run in the coming months.


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