Kyrie Irving will return to the Cavaliers’ lineup against the Hornets, the team announced on Sunday.
Irving has missed his tam’s last eight games with a shoulder injury, and despite Cleveland riding a seven game losing streak and already having been eliminated from playoff contention with just 11 regular season games remaining, the team is letting its star point guard return to action now that he’s ready, just as they had promised.
“It wasn’t so much what I noticed but it was the way he was moving, the way he said he felt,” Cavs head coach Byron Scott said, via the Associated Press. “He has to trust me. If I don’t think he looks right, if I don’t think he’s moving well, then I’ll take him out.”
“If we thought he was in any danger we would not put him out there,” Scott said. “That’s first and foremost. I’m the cautious one when it comes to putting him out there.”
Irving will be held out of Monday’s game in Atlanta on the second night of a back-to-back as a precaution.
Irving is averaging 23 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.7 rebounds, while playing 35.1 minutes per game this season. He’s provided us with some of the year’s more memorable moments, including engaging Brandon Knight in a battle over All-Star weekend, dominating late while leading his team to a big win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and wearing a mask while scoring a career-high 41 points at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.