|Photo: Spruce Derden - US Presswire|
Hold your breath, Cavs' fans.
Don't look now, but Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has been bitten by the injury bug...again.
Irving, the NBA's reigning Rookie of the Year and more importantly new franchise face of the Cavs', broke his right hand during the Cavaliers' Summer League team practice on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Irving will return to Cleveland to be examined by team doctors Sunday and said he will likely go under the knife.
The Cavs' said in a release Saturday that they expect Irving, their leading scorer last season who dazzled onlookers during recent scrimmages against the U.S. Olympic team (something tells us this kid will be on the 2016 Olympic squad), to miss 6-8 weeks, but will be ready for the start of training camp in late September. But really, the true timeline for Irving's return is all speculative until Cleveland's team doctors have had the chance to go over him with a fine tooth comb.
According to the team, Irving injured his hand slapping the padding on a wall at the team's practice site. Irving had just committed a turnover near the end of the morning practice session and apparently had some frustration he wanted to release.
"It was just a freak accident," said Irving, the top overall pick in the 2011 draft when Nick Gilbert's (son of Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert) trusty bow tie saw that fortune smiled on a Cavaliers squad coming off its first season since that guy that took his talents to South Beach aka LeBron James bolted for the Heat.
In his rookie season, Irving averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds and just over one pilfer a game. He shot almost 47 percent from the field, 87 percent from the charity stripe and was mere percentage points below that coveted 40 percent from beyond the arc. No doubt about it, Uncle Drew can flat out ball.
Irving's injury is the latest blow for the 20-year-old, who, despite being so young, is no stranger to the infirmary. Irving missed 14 of the team's 66-game lockout-shortened schedule as a result of various ailments -- 10 with a shoulder injury, three with a concussion and one because of illness. Irving also played in only 11 collegiate games at Duke before being sidelined with a serious foot injury.
It's really quite unfortunate when you think about it.
"I'm a little disappointed," Irving told reporters. "I have to be more responsible about my health. It was just crazy. It happened so fast."
The kid is going to be a regular fixture at NBA All-Star festivities for years to come with his skills, and maybe more importantly to Cavs' fans, his spectacular ability to get to the rim virtually at will and silky smooth jumper are bringing the fanbase closer to a time when they can say 'LeBron who?'.
This latest injury is just another bump in the road for the young Cavs' star, and luckily for both he and the franchise, Kyrie shouldn't miss any truly meaningful court time.
It's okay, Cleveland, You may exhale now. Everything's going to be alright.