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Kyrie Irving Is Having Knee Surgery and the Celtics Could Be in Trouble

Boston’s injury situation just got a little more dire

NBA All-Star Game 2018 Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Story: The second opinion Kyrie Irving was seeking three days ago has been made public: The Celtics guard will undergo a “minimally invasive” procedure on his left knee Saturday to alleviate soreness. Boston will not have a timetable on the guard’s return until after the operation.

The Importance: The NBA playoffs begin on April 14. That leaves three weeks from Irving’s surgery date to the start of the postseason. Which, if I’m doing my math right on recovery time, 21 + 0 = THIS SEEMS KIND OF BAD.

The knee soreness first flared up during a March 3 Boston loss to Houston. The injury is a recurring problem that Irving first encountered in 2015, when he fractured his kneecap during the Finals. Over the course of this month, Irving has missed a total of five games. Earlier in the month, after leaving a game early, Irving told reporters that because of Boston’s good standing in the conference, he felt comfortable resting his knee for the sake of being 100 percent come playoffs.

The Takeaway: Clearly, Irving is no longer off the court just because he wants to rest. No matter how “minimally invasive” this procedure is supposed to be, it’s still surgery 21 days away from the postseason. Now, two Celtics players may not be ready for the playoffs, the other being fellow guard Marcus Smart, who underwent thumb surgery last Friday. If neither is ready to go come April, the same Boston team that once looked like the conference’s best squad may have trouble even emerging from the first round.