New York (AFP) – Kyrie Irving will miss the Boston Celtics’ postseason after knee surgery last month, the team confirmed Thursday, dealing a devastating blow to the franchise’s playoff hopes.
A Celtics statement said a procedure on March 24 to remove a tension wire implanted during a 2015 operation on a damaged knee had found a bacterial infection.
Irving will undergo a procedure on Saturday to remove two screws inserted in his left patella at the time of the procedure, the team said.
“To ensure that no infection remains in the knee, the screws will be removed,” the Celtics said. “The fracture in Irving’s patella has completely healed, and his knee remains structurally sound.
“He is expected to make a full recovery in 4-5 months.”
News of Irving’s season-ending surgery was first reported by ESPN.
Irving, 26, was initially expected to return during the playoffs following last month’s operation.
Irving has been in dazzling form for the Celtics this season after his blockbuster move from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017.
His absence from the postseason give Boston a major headache.
The team are already without star Gordon Hayward, who suffered a horrific season-ending injury on his debut for the Celtics.
The Celtics are seeded second in the Eastern Conference, behind the Toronto Raptors and ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers in third.