NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets takes a looks on against the Milwaukee Bucks during their game at Barclays Center on January 18, 2020 in New York City.
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Kyrie Irving is likely going to opt for shoulder surgery, forcing the Brooklyn Nets to lose their point guard for the foreseeable future.

Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving is likely to undergo shoulder surgery. League sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic that Irving will most likely have surgery on his right shoulder and will miss an extended period of time.

Irving, who hasn’t played since Feb. 1, has been suffering pain caused by this injury all year. He missed 26 games this season because of it. In the minds of many, “extended period of time” can easily mean the remainder of the season.

He took a cortisone shot in late December prior to making his return to the team, but he even admitted at the time that those only last so long. All cortisone does is temporarily mask the pain so if he wants a long-term solution, surgery could be the best option.

While this is devastating news for the Nets, who are seventh in the Eastern Conference and looking to make a playoff run, there is somewhat of a bright side. At least this is happening while Kevin Durant is out. The situation would be completely different if everyone was healthy and the Nets were one of the favorites to potentially go to the NBA Finals.

Irving has had a beautiful start to his career as a Net. Although he has only played in 20 games, he’s averaging 27.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game while shooting 47.8% from the field, 39.4% from three, and 92.2% from the free-throw line. He has scored 50 in two games already during his Nets tenure.

Interestingly enough, the Nets are just 8-12 when Irving has played but 17-16 without him. Of course, building chemistry is important and that takes time, but the fact that they can make things work without one of their best players is a good sign and an indication that they can make the playoffs without him.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.