Quantcast

Cavs' Irving nearing comeback from concussion

By Tom Withers

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Feb. 13 2012 7:10 p.m. MST

CLEVELAND — Cavaliers rookie point guard Kyrie Irving made a move in his recovery from a concussion.

Irving did some noncontact work during practice Monday and is now closer to a return — perhaps as early as Wednesday against Indiana.

The 19-year-old sensation, who has missed Cleveland's last three games after banging his head off Miami star Dwyane Wade's knee last week, participated in fastbreak and shooting drills as the short-handed Cavs went through a "very light" practice at their training facility.

"He did everything that had to do with noncontact," Cavs coach Byron Scott said.

Irving has not yet been cleared for full participation in practice as the Cavs follow the new concussion protocol implemented by the NBA this season. Scott said Irving will be re-evaluated before it's determined if he can resume full activities Tuesday.

Scott would not speculate if Irving, who is averaging 18 points and 5.1 assists, will be back to play against the Pacers.

"The hope is for him to get re-evaluated, then the doctors will tell us exactly where he stands and we'll go from there," Scott said. "I'm hoping I get him back Wednesday, but if not I'm also trying to prepare for the worst."

Irving's injury was a blow to the Cavs, who then suffered an equally devastating one Friday when center Anderson Varejao broke his right wrist against Milwaukee.

Varejao, who was having his best season as a pro, will be out for an indefinite period. The Cavs are expected to give a more conclusive timetable for his return in the next few days. Varejao will likely miss at least several weeks — and possibly more.

Varejao will undergo more tests but Scott has not been told his best front-line player needs surgery. Varejao is one of the NBA's top rebounders and a constant source of energy for the Cavs, who had been one of the league's early surprises after winning just 19 games last season.

With Irving and Varejao on the bench in street clothes, the Cavs were hammered at home 99-84 by the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

Scott was disappointed with his team's effort, which he partly blamed on the Cavaliers reaction to losing their top two players.

"I told them I hope that the last game was a one-time hangover," he said. "I understand from a player's standpoint, when you're missing someone as important as Andy is to us, I understand that you're going to probably feel a little disappointment or sadness that he's not out there because he gives you everything he's got.

"But, like I've said in the past, it gives other guys opportunities and they better be ready to step up and take the challenge. Hopefully everybody is over with that and we understand that he's not going to be here for a few days. We still have to move on."

Semih Erden will start in Varejao's spot against the Pacers.

Forward Antawn Jamison has been through injury spells before, and the veteran understands the difficulty in filling the void left by losing Varejao.

"It's always tough, especially missing a guy like Andy and the type of year he's had," he said. "I thought with a couple more wins he should have been in the All-Star game. But you just can't replace what he brings to the table. Defensively, he makes up a lot of things we do mistakewise. He's just been playing out of his mind this season. For our young guys, this is a challenge."

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS