by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

The injury looked about as harmless as they come. Late in Duke’s game against Butler, Kyrie Irving started hopping around on one foot and came out of the game. He worked with the trainers for a few minutes and then took his seat down on the bench. He then re-entered, but with the game out of hand, there was no need for him to play any more than a few possessions.

After the game, Irving said it was an injury to his toe. He said he “stumped it” and did not seem too concerned about the injury.

However, after running some tests Duke determined that he would need to be sidelined for at least a few games, and then, after Duke’s win over Bradley, Coach Mike Krzyzewski revealed a shocker. The toe injury was far more serious than anyone thought, possibly season-threatening.

From ZagsBlog:

“It’s being evaluated by our medical team here at Duke and with medical people from different parts of the country who are experts in foot injuries,” said Krzyzewski . “Some type of analysis should be done hopefully by a week to 10 days and a course of action will be taken based on that analysis.

“It’s a serious injury. I can’t say anything more because we are learning information but it is serious and whatever final decision is made will obviously what’s in his best interest and his career. Not to save him for any period of time or whatever, but he could be out or a long time.”

When Coach K was asked if the West Orange, N.J. native could miss the remainder of the year, he said, “He could be, he could be.”

As the quotes indicate, the timetable for Irving’s return seems very uncertain, and with the possibility that he could miss the season, the entire college basketball season might be altered. With Irving, Duke is the clear title favorite and a legitimate contender to go undefeated. Without him, it closes the gap significantly between the Blue Devils and the rest of the nation’s top teams.

Stay tuned.