INDEPENDENCE (92.3 The Fan) – After missing the first 24 games of the regular season, Cavaliers all-star point guard Kyrie Irving will make his return from injury and play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Irving tweeted “I’m back,” immediately following practice on Saturday.
— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) December 19, 2015
He had broken his left kneecap in Game One of the NBA Finals in June against the Golden State Warriors on a non-contact play. Irving immediately underwent surgery and hadn’t played in a game since, but now is finally ready to play again.
“Obviously as a competitor, you want to get out there, but for me, I let go of all my selfish inside emotions and put them aside and did what’s best for my body and did what’s best for the team,” Irving said. “Coming back tomorrow, I finally got the full clearance from my doctors and the training staff, and that’s all I needed.”
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt said that the coaching staff will be “conscious” about Irving’s minutes, basically putting Irving on a minutes restrictions for his first game or two back.
“We wanted him to be and to show himself to be fully ready to play,” Blatt said. “So, it was just a matter of getting to that point.”
For his career, Irving is averaging 21 points per game, dishing out 5.7 assists per game, and is shooting 39 percent from 3-point range.
“I’ve been ready to play, but bio-mechanically, we just wanted to make sure everything was good so I’m not putting myself at higher risk to go out there and get hurt again,” he said.
The long awaited season debut for Irving comes at a time when the Cavaliers have won four straight games, and the three-time all-star couldn’t be more eager to play with his team.
“I’ll probably go home and let all of my emotions out,” Irving said. “But I’m pretty ‘f-ing’ excited to be out there with my brothers.”