Danny Ainge: Kyrie Irving eventually will need knee surgery, but not now

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When Kyrie Irving fractured his kneecap in the first game of the 2015 NBA Finals, medical experts said then this was something that would require maintenance for the rest of his career — some games off for rest, and likely the occasional cleanup surgery.

Irving is out right now for the Celtics due to soreness — most sources say tendonitis — in that same knee. There is no return date set for him, other than he is expected back and fully ready to go for the playoffs in a month.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” show — which is broadcast on NBC Sports Boston each morning — and was candid that Irving will eventually need another surgery on that knee. Maybe this summer, maybe the summer of 2019, but someday. He added that he didn’t think it will impact him in these upcoming playoffs. You can see the key part of the interview above, but Ainge also said this:

“We knew coming into this year that he probably wasn’t going to be an 82-game guy. He was going to be a 72-, 75-game guy in order to keep him fresh for the playoffs. And that’s what it’s been. And we’re just extra cautious. We have the good fortune of being extra cautious right now. And we want him fresh and healthy. And we think that he will be come playoff time.”

Ainge covered some other ground, saying that the reason the organization does not expect Gordon Hayward to return was a setback last month.