Kyrie Irving reportedly will not play in playoffs

Kyrie Irving will not return in time to play in this year's playoffs

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving will have to undergo a second procedure on his left knee and will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs, the team announced Thursday. He is expected to make a full recovery in 4-5 months, the team said. The MVP candidate will reportedly miss both the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs due to said injury.

With Irving adding to the mounting injuries in the team, it is going to be tough for the Celtics to advance far in the NBA Playoffs. The Celtics, 53-25, are now sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference and will likely enter the playoffs in that position.

The Celtics are still without guard Marcus Smart, who had right thumb surgery in March. That is no longer the case, a huge blow to the Celtics' chances in the playoffs. The Celtics are expected to face the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat or Washington Wizards in the first round. Cleveland is now in third place and if form holds, the Cavs would face Boston in the second round.

Irving appeared in 60 games this season, averaging 24.4 points. The theory is that with the National Basketball Association stretching out the season to give the players additional rest days, James was returning the favor by playing a full schedule.

An original estimate would have sidelined Irving through at least start of the postseason and possibly into the second round. The Toronto Raptors are poised to be the top-seeded team behind DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

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Nobody needs to explain to the Sixers just how devastating it is to deal with injuries this late in the season since the team is now dealing with Joel Embiid recovering from a fractured orbital.

Irving was having a fantastic season for the Celtics, who acquired him in August in a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving hasn't played since March 11 and says he won't dwell on what might have been.

Saturday's surgery is to remove two screws from his patella that were inserted in 2015 to fix a fracture he suffered in Game 1 of that year's NBA Finals. Per the Celtics, the screws will be removed "to ensure that no infection remains in the knee".

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