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The Boston Celtics are optimistic that Kyrie Irving might return to action either at the beginning of the NBA playoffs or the conference semifinals, as reported by The Boston Globe‘s Adam Himmelsbach.
Boston is speculating that the 26-year old point guard will return to basketball activities in three-to-six weeks after undergoing a minimally-invasive procedure to remove a tension in his left knee, according to the team’s press release:
“The wire was originally placed as part of the surgical repair of a fractured patella sustained during the 2015 NBA Finals. While removal of the wire should relieve irritation it was causing in Irving’s patellar tendon, the fractured patella has fully healed and Irving’s knee has been found to be completely structurally sound.”
Irving didn’t return in the second half of the 99-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers earlier this month due to left knee soreness, and the plan initially was to rest the knee and avoid surgery.
“He feels better and better, but he just doesn’t quite feel 100 percent,” head coach Brad Stevens told Celtics.com’s Taylor Snow. “Until that point, he’ll be out.”
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But after his knee didn’t improve as expected with time off, Irving sought a second opinion.
Shortly thereafter, the Celtics announced that he would go under the knife.
The news on the severity of Irving’s recovery is likely a silver lining for the injury-depleted Boston. In addition to their All-Star floor general, they are without Gordon Hayward (fractured ankle), Daniel Theis (left knee meniscal tear) and Marcus Smart (torn UCL in right hand).
Down to a 12-man roster, the Celtics are eligible to add another player due to the hardship exception. They are above the salary cap, so they can only offer a league minimum contract.
Despite being shorthanded, the Celtics have persevered, winning three straight games, including a thriller at home that saw Marcus Morris nail a game-winning three-pointer from the wing with two seconds left to give them a 100-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Before being sidelined, Irving was averaging 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 32.2 minutes of action per game.
Grizzlies sign Teague to 10-day contract
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The former Chicago Bulls first-round pick is the first player to be called up from the Hustle in the team’s history.
Since he was selected 29th in 2012, the 6’2″ point guard has bounced around from the NBA (Bulls, Brooklyn Nets), to the G League (Iowa Energy, Oklahoma City Blue, Fort Wayne Mad Ants) to overseas (Ironi Nahariya, Avtodor Saratov) and back again.
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Welcome to the squad, @marquisteague25! https://t.co/4Kwe8N7A2k
Now, he’s got another opportunity at playing in the NBA with his older brother, Indiana Pacers’ guard Marcus Teague.
“I never felt like I need or wanted to be in the G League, or felt like I was supposed to be here,” Teague told The Ringer’s Paolo Uggetti. “I always was like, ‘I’m going to work my way through this.’ I went to Europe because I got to the point where I was like, ‘I can’t take it no more. I’m getting tired of this. They’re not calling me up.’ So I went there and I realized that’s not for me. I’m an NBA player.”
Teague averaged 17.6 points, 6.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Hustle. He started in all 47 games and shot 45.5 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from behind the arc.
Hawks re-up Lee’s 10-day contract
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Atlanta made it official ahead of its 106-94 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday.
The deal was made just in the nick of time for Lee, who posted 10 points, one assist, one steal and a career-high eight rebounds in 31 minutes.
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A gigantic Eurostep change of direction from Damion Lee. It’s so pretty. https://t.co/QNlhSLlveC
In six games with the Hawks, the 25-year old Louisville product is averaging 10.3 points, four rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest.
“There’s a confidence,” head coach Mike Budenholzer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Chris Vivlamore. “He has the ability to shoot the 3 but also slashing behind shifts. Just a good feel for the game. Sticking his nose in there on rebounds and loose balls. Great first impression for him this week.”
He has started three games, is shooting 43.8 percent from the field and is hitting 36.4 percent of his three-pointers.