Kyrie Irving undergoes successful knee surgery, but Cav’s have to face the Warriors without him. Irving fractured his knee cap in game one of the NBA finals, and had to have help off the court. Cleveland’s coach David Blatt said they do not have much choice, but to come out and play like they really want to win. The team must play hard.
Lebron James said that even though they were the team that was not expected to win in game one, and are even more so the underdog now, it is alright, because the team will be more than ready. Blatt originally said that his injury was not from the collision with Klay Thompson, but now he is rethinking it that maybe it is from when Thompson’s knee hit into Irving’s in game one. Blatt also said that the doctor was wondering the same thing that the press was thinking, and he said his fractured knee cap is not from him playing for almost 45 minutes in the first game of the finals. It also is not from his long irritated tendonitis either. There were not any limitations put on him going in to the finals, as there were in there was in the fourth game against the Hawks, which he only played just over 20 minutes at about five minutes of playing time at the most before he had to rest.
Irving’s knee surgery means that the Cav’s will have to face the Warriors without him going into game two. Cleveland’s manager David Griffin spoke with the media, and announced that a multitude of tests were done before the first game, and everything from his range of motion, and his muscle tone proved that he was fit to play. James commented that clearly it is hard to deal with losing such a key player at such an important time, although this is a similar situation for them, but the difference is in the past there was the assurance that Irving was coming back. He also added that while it is important to have every key player functioning at 100 percent, but since it is not possible to have that luxury the team will have to step up their game to cover the loss of Irving. James also added that as bad as it may be for the team, it is even worse for Irving.
Matthew Dellavedova will probably be his substitute, and Iman Shumpert is also very good at his position. Blatt says that either one can be a very good fill-in for Irving. Shumpert told reporters that it was important not to give up, because Irving would never quit. They have to stay positive and go out and own the second game of the finals. Dellavedova added that the team has a special amount of support for one another as a whole, and he thinks it works well for them, especially in the finals. When a person goes through hardship it tends to make them tougher, and stronger.
There has been three players with Cleveland to be out in an important game with injuries. Irving having to heal from knee surgery, and forcing the Cav’s to face the Warriors without him is the third serious injury for Cleveland. Irving announced on his Instagram account about his surgery, and expressed how much everyone’s kind words meant to him. He also said how distressing it was having to leave the way he did, but nothing would stop him from coming back next season, and that he gave his all and he has no regrets. Then he added a touching, personal note to his teammates that they would understand.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
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Photo courtesy of Erik Drost’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License