Kyrie Irving to Make His Return Against the Los Angeles Lakers Tonight

by December 11, 2012

Somewhat surprisingly, Cleveland Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving took part in a full team practice yesterday, and is expected to suit up tonight against the visiting Lakers. Irving recovered from a broken finger faster than anyone had anticipated. Per the News-Herald: “I was excited to see he was way ahead of schedule and he was able to resume practice today, which was great news,’ Cavs coach Byron Scott said. ‘He was excited to be out there and it was just good to see him out there going through full contact.’ The update on shooting guard Dion Waiters wasn’t nearly as encouraging. Waiters turned 21 on Monday, the same day the Cavs announced he has a bone bruise in conjunction with his sprained left ankle. He doesn’t appear to be real close to returning. He ran under the watchful eye of Cavs athletic trainer Max Benton after practice on Monday and there was a noticeable limp. Waiters could be out another week or more. Scott said before Saturday’s game both Waiters and Irving had to get the medical clearance to resume contact, in addition to participating in practice before they returned. The Cavs won’t practice again this week with two back-to-back sets on the schedule. […] The Cavs (4-17) were 2-8 when Irving was injured. They compiled a 2-9 record with him out of the lineup. With both players sidelined, it strained the offensively challenged club. Since Waiters went down in the double-overtime loss to Portland on Dec. 1, the Cavs were 0-4. Teammate Anderson Varejao accidently fell on Waiters under the basket. Irving, the Cavs’ leading scorer at 22.9 points per game, originally suffered a hairline fracture of his left index finger in the Dallas game on Nov. 17. He inexplicably played in Philadelphia the following night before shutting it down for what doctors estimated would be four weeks. Monday’s practice marked the three-week period since his injury. ‘It’s been very difficult,’ Irving said. ‘I’ve gotten a chance to break down the game and it’s given me a different outlook being on the sideline. I’m blessed to be back. I’m happy to be out there competing again.’ The 6-foot-3, 191-pounder said he’ll play with a splint on his left index finger.”