Kyrie Irving
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics will be without one of their key pieces, Kyrie Irving, as the NBA regular season winds down.

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving will be out for the next three-to-six weeks after undergoing what the team described as a “minimally-invasive procedure today to remove a tension wire in his left knee.”

Irving has been dealing with knee issues ever since he broke his kneecap in the 2015 NBA Finals. Back then, he was still on the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the issue has been flaring up recently and has been giving Kyrie some problems.

Irving has been out for the last two weeks with knee soreness. Boston was hoping it might be an injury that simply required rest. After further investigation, it was deemed that the lingering pain was coming from part of the successful surgery from three years ago. He received a second opinion from doctors outside the Celtics organization and finally came to the resolution that the pain would be best fixed by a surgery, by removing a metal piece that has been giving him pain.

The procedure was minimally invasive, and, according to the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, there is reported “optimism” surrounding the procedure. Himmelsbach also reported that Irving may very well be back “…near the start of the playoffs or, on the later end, in a conference semifinals series.”

This is great news for basketball fans since Kyrie has certainly missed a healthy portion of games due to serious injuries throughout his basketball career, dating even to his sole season at Duke University.

Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix reports on Twitter that “The fractured patella Irving suffered in ’15 Finals is fully healed, and Irving’s knee has been found to be completely structurally sound, per team.” Phew…

The Celtics have been torn apart by injuries this year. Everyone remembers how Gordon Hayward broke his leg completely just six minutes into the year. His recovery is surrounded by mystery, but higher-ups in Boston have repeated he is not returning this year. Marcus Smart has missed several games with a torn ligament in his thumb. He is not to return for another five-to-seven weeks. Jaylen Brown also has been out ever since he fell on his neck after a dunk and entered the concussion protocol. He has been out for a little over two weeks but is set to return tonight against Sacramento, per Mark Murphy of BostonHerald.com.

The Celtics have been solid without Kyrie, surviving through good showings by Al Horford, rookie Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, and Marcus Morris. Their defense is still one of the best in the league, even though their offense has been slowed greatly. They should feel comfortable that they will retain the second seed, given the Cavaliers are 6 games back. The Pacers and 76ers are each 7.5 games back, with roughly 10 or so games left in the season.

The Celtics should survive the first round handily, and once the competition gears up, Kyrie Irving should be ready to join them once again.

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