Kyrie Irving leaves early with knee soreness, will miss multiple games

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The Boston Celtics lost to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, but they also lost something more important: Kyrie Irving.

Boston’s star guard left the game at halftime at TD Garden, citing left knee soreness. He will reportedly be out multiple games this week as he tries to rest and rehab heading into the home stretch of the NBA regular season.

Irving told reporters after the game that he would like to come back at full strength or as near as he can get to it. He also said he wasn’t concerned about where the Celtics sit in the standings with regard to his absence.

Boston has already clinched a playoff spot and currently sit 3.5 games back of the Toronto Raptors for first place in the Eastern Conference.

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Boston coach Brad Stevens said the team didn’t have any official diagnosis with more detail other than Irving’s knee being sore.

“We don’t know what it is above general knee soreness and he doesn’t seem overly concerned big picture with it. But obviously it’s been giving him fits here and there for the last five to eight days or so,” Stevens told ESPN.

Irving played just 16 minutes in the game against Indiana, scoring seven points while adding four rebounds, one assist and one steal.

The Pacers beat the Celtics, 99-97.