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KYRIE IRVING, OUT BETWEEN 4 AND 6 WEEKS
Fri, 23 Nov 2012 01:30 AM EST

Kyrie Irving couldn’t handle playing with just one hand. Now, it’s the Cavaliers turn.

Irving will be sidelined for the month after next with a broken left index finger, the latest injury to the NBA’s ruling rookie of the year and a devastating blow to the rebuilding Cavs, who’ve lost 6 straight and must face playing without their talented star point guard.

”It’s frustrating,” Irving announced. ”But we’re simply going to get through it and just gotta stay positive.”

Now, that is about all the 20-year-old can do.

Irving suspected his finger was hurt badly on Saturday, when he accidentally struck the foot of Dallas’ Darren Collison while making an attempt to swipe the ball from the Mavericks guard. Irving returned to the game after X-rays came back negative. He played the rest of the game with his finger heavily taped and again on Sun. night at Philadelphia.

But Irving wasn’t the same, and he struggled handling the ball while scoring a season-low 9 points on 4-of-14 shooting.

”I couldn’t hang onto the ball, especially at the end of the game when I’m at my best,” he said. ”It was frustrating.”

An MRI taken revealed a hairline fracture, an injury he could play thru but at the risk of doing more damage and missing several months.

The Cavs are not taking any chances.

”If he really gets this thing hit again, then it needs surgery and then instead of weeks, you’re talking about months,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. ”I do not think we’re being very wary by saying, ‘let’s shut it down and see how it looks in 2 weeks and go from there.”’

The damaged finger is the most recent medical setback for Irving, who dismissed the idea he was injury prone when the Cavs opened training camp in October. Back then, he was returning from a broken right hand he sustained when Irving slammed a padded wall in disappointment in a summer league practice.

Last season, Irving missed 15 games with a shoulder sprain and concussion. His school career at Duke was limited to 11 games because of a serious foot injury that took just about one year to completely heal.

”I’m just glad it’s not injuries, knock on wood, such something that could keep me out for 6 months,” Irving claimed. ”I’m going to miss one or two games, I’m aware of that but you simply gotta stay positive. Things happen in the game of basketball and obviously I can play, but I’m just being cautious right now.” Betting lines

As quickly as he hurt his finger, Irving sensed it was heavy.

”I just knew it was not a jammed finger,” he claimed. ”I’ve jammed nearly every finger on my hand, so I just knew when it started turning black and blue. I just believed that it was a bad sprain, but it seemed to be broken.”

After sitting and watching practice, Irving, with his index and middle fingers taped together and braced by a splint, stayed on the floor and shot jumpers. Scott would prefer if Irving would keep off the court absolutely, but he knows better than to ask.


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