An MRI on Kyrie Irving's right knee on Sunday morning confirmed that he had a medial sprain. The network's starguard will be reassessed in a week.
It says something about Irving's spotty medical history and injured season in Brooklyn that it is considered good news and the best possible outcome if the Star Point Guard fails for at least a week. But here are the networks.
Irving suffered a right knee sprain, which the Nets staff diagnosed in Washington on Saturday at 5:31 minutes before the end. Now that he had dealt with a long shoulder injury and the death of his friend Kobe Bryant, he was back in New York and was examined again.
"Yes, it was a damn good well. A damn good week," said Irving, uncomfortably leaning against a table in the Capital One Arena changing room with a splint on his knee.
After getting involved with Wizard's star Bradley Beal on Saturday night, Irving fell to the ground and stayed below. His Nets teammates were clearly worried about him.
"Yes, obviously we know how hard he worked to get off his shoulder," said Spencer Dinwiddie. "So to deal with it and to see him on the floor in pain – and not knowing exactly what it is – everyone was worried."
But now after the MRI on Sunday, Irving and the networks know exactly what it is. In a nutshell, they confirmed what it is not and excluded nightmare scenarios like tears from his ACL, MCL or PCL.
Irving has already missed 28 games this season, including 26 straight away and another tragic Bryant death. He has only crossed the 60s mark four times in his NBA career, an important reason that his Nets contract offers little incentive to exceed this amount.
Unfortunately, it won't happen this season.
"I said it in the past: nobody will feel bad for us," said Irving. "I don't really expect anyone to feel bad for us.
"It's the NBA; things like this happen and we just have to pick each other up, as we always do. It's just about staying in the locker room and continuing to work on the goals we have."
Irving had to undergo surgery in 2015 to repair a broken left kneecap. Three years later, the knee was slightly operated again.
From his only college season at Duke to date, he's already missed 186 games and is about to skip more – though Irving is encouraged to avoid ACL damage.
"Sure," said Dinwiddie. "I tore up my ACL beforehand. It's no fun. I don't wish anyone. I didn't think it was when he went down. It was a bit cooler than an ACL."
The Nets will travel from Toronto to Indiana in a week and will host the Raptors in their final game before the All-Star break on February 12, giving them a week's rest between dates. The networks are returning from their February 20 discharge in Philadelphia.
"Sure, it's frustrating for all of us. But it's only part of the game. Hopefully it's not a long-term thing. We'll ask other people to get involved," said Kenny Atkinson.
“You are frustrated because you know how much work you do, how much care you get from our performance team, our medical team and our trainers. That's the most frustrating thing about this game when you lose someone for a game or two. You just don't feel good. "
But better than the alternatives.
Irving has an average career high of 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and a league-leading free throw of 0.922 percent. Atkinson said one of the Nets assistants told him Irving was one of the few players he would pay to see the game. Now he would probably pay double to get it back.