Network watchman Kyrie Irving, who first turned to the media in two months, said on Saturday that he had taken a cortisone shot to avoid surgery on a sick shoulder that had kept him from the game since November 14 He did not give a specific schedule for his return, but said that he was "much better".
"It's just shit, man," said Irving. "It's really daunting."
The 27-year-old point guard, who missed the last 23 games of the nets, including Saturday's, said that he had pain when lifting his right shoulder during the jump shots and that he also had bursitis, an illness the joint pain causes pain. Irving said that after a November 4 game against the New Orleans Pelicans, he felt pain in his right shoulder, scoring 39 points. The pain got worse after that. If the cortisone shot does not work, Irving has considered the possibility of arthroscopic surgery.
"It is very unique," said Irving. "It is the first time that I have such a strong feeling in my shoulder that I will take jump shots and I can't really lift my shoulder."
Irving, one of the Nets Free Agent additions this summer, only played eleven games for the Nets this season, but was dominant. He averaged 28.5 points and 7.2 assists, both on the way to a career high. Speculation that Irving's injury was more serious than originally thought had increased over the past few weeks, especially since the team didn't provide much detail about it.
But the team stuck in Irving's absence and won 12 of the 22 games played against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. The first time since November 10th was Caris LeVert, the talented young swinger who sustained a thumb injury at about the same time as Irving. The Nets took seventh place in the Eastern Conference against the Raptors on Saturday. Kevin Durant, Irving's close friend, who joined the team in the off-season from the Golden State Warriors, is likely to miss the season with a torn Achilles tendon.