Kyrie Irving’s injured toe likely won’t need surgery, but there’s still no guarantee he’ll play again this season for Duke, Irving’s father told FOXSports.com’s Jeff Goodman.
“We’re still in a holding pattern,” Drederick Irving told Goodman. “Right now it’s about Kyrie’s recovery. We’d all like him to come back, but right now we don’t know.”
The freshman point guard hasn’t played since Dec. 4, mostly because doctors were uncertain what Irving did to his toe (ligament damage) and how to proceed. Now that a plan’s been established, Irving can focus on possibly starting rehab – and maybe even playing again this season.
Duke’s gone 8-1 without the uber-quick Irving, who was averaging 17.4 points and 5.1 assists before the injury. Senior guard Nolan Smith’s assumed the bulk of the point guard duties, but the production of sophomore forward Mason Plumlee has plummeted as a result (10.5 points and 8.6 rebounds an outing to 3.8 points and 8.3 boards without).
Not that Duke’s struggling. As their 16-1 record attests, they’re still among the national title favorites. But with Irving, their frontcourt production improves – and they become THE favorite.
That evaluation time after Irving gets his cast off will be closely monitored.
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