Kyrie Irving held out of practice with knee injury, Cavaliers ‘hope’ he can play in Game 1 vs. Hawks

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Kyrie Irving left in the second quarter of the Cavaliers’ series-clinching Game 6 win over the Bulls, after stepping on a teammate’s foot and appearing to aggravate a previous left knee injury.

Irving was initially labeled as probable to return once he had the knee re-wrapped, but as it became apparent that Cleveland was doing just fine without him, Irving was able to sit the rest of the contest out.

The Cavaliers are being extremely cautious with the injury in advance of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which takes place in Atlanta on Wednesday. Irving was held out of Saturday’s practice, and the team remains “hopeful” that he’ll be ready to go after a few days of rest.

From Marla Ridenour of Ohio.com:

Cavs coach David Blatt said Irving saw the doctors again Friday. Blatt couldn’t give a definitive assessment of Irving’s status for Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Hawks in Atlanta, but said the Cavs “hope” he can play.

“He going through a lot of treatment and we’re monitoring and just hoping that he progresses from here until game time,” Blatt said.

The Cavs are off Sunday, although some players may come to Cleveland Clinic Courts to work out.

“We determined that he’s going to rest and going forward, (he is) day-to-day. We’ll see how he’s feeling and what we can do with it,” Blatt said of Irving. “We’re very much on top of this obviously and Ky is doing everything he possibly can to get well.”

Irving said he absolutely could have returned to play in Game 6 if it had been necessary, so with five full days off until the next round begins, it’s safe to expect him back in his team’s starting lineup, despite the precautionary measures.