Report: Cavs expect Kyrie Irving back “well before” rumored January timeline

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Since fracturing his left kneecap near the end of Game 1 of the Finals, Kyrie Irving‘s availability for the upcoming season has been shrouded in mystery. Originally, the Cavaliers announced Irving’s recovery timeline as three to four months after undergoing surgery. But as training camp draws closer, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll be available for training camp. One report a couple weeks ago went further, saying it’s possible Irving could miss the first two months of the season and not be back until January.

Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto reports that Cavs officials expect Irving back sooner than that, albeit under a minutes limit:

There was a report about Kyrie Irving not being ready to play until January.

No one knows for sure, as Irving is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured knee cap. But the Cavs do expect him to play well before January. Of course, that can change once they see him in training camp.

Even if Irving’s knee is in excellent shape, they plan to cut his minutes early in the season. He ranked No. 3 in average minutes per game last season. LeBron James was No. 5.

Unless Irving has a major setback in his rehab, it would be reasonable to expect him to play sometime in November or December. With that said, though, it doesn’t make sense to rush him back or overuse him before he’s fully recovered, and going with a minutes limit would be the smart thing to do in the regular season. Even with Irving coming off this injury, the Cavs have more talent than any other team in the Eastern Conference, and the addition of Mo Williams gives them some depth at point guard, so they won’t have to rely exclusively on Matthew Dellavedova while Irving is out. As long as Irving is fully healthy and acclimated by the time the playoffs roll around, the Cavs will be fine.