Will Kyrie Irving Return for the Tournament???

14 Mar

Duke was undefeated with Irving in the lineup, he averaged 17 pts 4 reb and 5 ast before his toe injury, and if effective in his return will help the team in their quest to repeat.

By Erick Smith, USA TODAY

Good news came in threes Sunday for Duke fans. The Blue Devils won the ACC tournament by beating rival North Carolina and earned a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.

They also found out freshman guard Kyrie Irving could be back in the team’s lineup three months after injuring his toe.

In the celebration in Greensboro after the defeat of the Tar Heels, Irving was made available to the media and spoke about his recovery and the possibility he could return to the court this season.

“I can’t really put a percentage on it,” Irving said. “It all depends on how I feel, and if the medical staff feels good about it.”

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski tried to downplay the possibility of Irving’s return. The Blue Devils play Friday against Hampton in Charlotte in their tournament opener.

“We’re far away from that decision,” Krzyzewski said. “But he’s doing well. He’s worked out here every day and we’re not trying to hide anything. We tried to show that first of all we do have a guy named Kyrie and secondly that he’s progressing well.”

Irving has slowly been getting back in shape after his foot was in a cast and then a walking boot. He went through pregame workouts Friday and Sunday, but was not in uniform.

Nike has made a special shoe to protect Irving’s toe from bending back, making Irving confident he will not aggravate the injury. He is still awaiting clearance from medical personal to scrimmage at full speed.

If he returns, Irving thinks he’ll be a better player after only seeing action in eight games this season because he has learned from the sideline.

“I think I had a high basketball IQ when I was playing,” Irving said, “but now it’s increased, tremendously.”

Apparently Irving still has aspirations of being a one and done guy, and wants to come back and shine in the tourney to secure his draft stock. Nike wouldn’t be making him special shoes if he wasn’t going to play. If he plays and is effective, watch for Duke to repeat as champs!

– Chris McCoy

Watch Kyrie Rehab

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