MIAMI (AP) — If Kyrie Irving knows when he’ll be back on the floor with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he’s not telling.
The All-Star guard will only divulge this much: He’s getting closer.
Irving spoke Thursday about his ongoing recovery from the knee injury that required surgery and kept him from all but one game of last season’s NBA Finals, when the Cavaliers fell to Golden State in six games. The Cavaliers – like all NBA teams – open training camp later this month, and one of the biggest issues facing the reigning Eastern Conference champions revolves around when their point guard will be ready to play.
“I’m feeling great,” Irving said from Miami, where he has been working out. “I’m taking my time with it. Obviously, it was a terrible injury but thank God I had the summer to start rehabbing and I’m definitely progressing in the right way. Whatever my timeline is, it’ll be for the betterment of the team and for us to also compete for a world championship at the end of the season.”
Irving hasn’t revealed exactly what he’s physically able to do right now.
“We’re going to keep most of the things in house as far as what’s going on,” he said.
Irving averaged 21.7 points and 5.2 assists for Cleveland last season, his first year playing alongside LeBron James. During the playoffs Cleveland was 10-3 with Irving on the floor, 4-3 when he was sidelined.
He had some impressive efforts last season, including a 55-point game against Portland in January and a 57-point night against San Antonio in March. Including the postseason – which he appeared in for the first time – the Cavaliers went 28-4 in games where Irving shot better than 50 percent.
“As long as we’re together in that locker room and our coaching staff and everybody is on the same page, we’ll be fine,” Irving said. “All the expectations people put on us last year, we were aware of it. But for us, it was about us being together when it really mattered and showing people that this was a team to be reckoned with.”
Cleveland started 19-20 last season, then won 48 of its final 63 games.
“I feel that was the true testament of our team,” Irving said. “We had a bad November, December, January and then we started figuring it out after All-Star break. We’ll be ready.”