The Cavaliers rang in 2014 with some encouraging news: Kyrie Irving’s left knee is only bruised.
The All-Star guard did not sustain structural damage Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers and is not expected to miss any significant time. An MRI revealed a bruise, the team said Wednesday in a statement. Irving will have treatment, get continued evaluation and is listed as questionable for Cleveland’s game on Thursday night at home against Orlando.
"Scary moment but I’ll be good," Irving said on his Twitter account. "Thanks for everyone’s support and concern."
The Cavs were shaking when Irving fell awkwardly and had to be helped off the floor in the third quarter against the Pacers. He was examined by a team doctor and returned to play the final minutes as the Cavs lost their sixth straight, 91-76.
Following the game, Irving said he felt a "pop" in his knee and was concerned his injury was serious.
"I thought the worst happened," said Irving, who is averaging 22.6 points per game in his third NBA season. "I felt something pop in my knee. When I came back in, my left knee is pretty weak right now. I was falling all over the place. I didn’t have my legs under me. It was a painful experience."
The former No. 1 overall pick has been injury prone since coming into the NBA. Irving missed 38 games in his first two seasons with a variety of injuries, including a broken nose, fractured jaw, broken finger, sprained knee and shoulder, and concussion. Irving played in only 11 games as a freshman at Duke because of a foot injury, and he broke his hand after his rookie season when he slammed a padded wall during a summer league practice in Las Vegas.
Irving set a goal to play in all 82 games this season, and hasn’t missed one yet. The Cavs will likely take a cautious approach with Irving and may sit him for a game or two.
Cleveland hosts the Magic on Thursday, plays at Brooklyn on Saturday and hosts the Pacers on Sunday.