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    Commentary: Kyrie Irving injury frustrating, but not surprising

    Jun 16, 2021
    PHOTO: AP

    By Taha Qureshi

    INDIANA — The sight of Kyrie Irving crumpled on the floor and writhing in pain in Game Four was difficult to watch even if you're not a Brooklyn Nets fan.

    But the ability to hurdle the obstacle course of injuries that potentially occur in a fast-paced contact sports such as basketball injuries is a required "skill" for NBA teams who wish to navigate a deep playoffs run.

    With a grade 2 sprain, Irving missed Game Five even as James Harden returned after a hamstring injury sustained in Game One.

    While Irving's exit is shocking, it's hardly a surprise. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound point guard has a long history of injuries since he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers as No.1 overall pick in 2011.

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      According to Fox Sports, besides the usual aches, pains and sprains, Irving has dealt with at least 27 rows worth of injury report updates.

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      A knee surgery in 2018 ranks among the serious of maladies that include a left hip strain, a left quad contusion, a thigh contusion, injuries on both shoulders, a bum finger and a facial fracture that required him to wear a mask when he was still a Boston Celtic in 2019.

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      Even before turning pro, Irving had been besieged with injuries.

      In his lone season at Duke University, the one-time NBA champion and seven-time All-Star was limited to 11 games with the Blue Devils due to a "severe ligament injury on the right big toe."

      Now in his 10th year in the NBA, Irving has missed 197 out of a possible 779 regular season games. He has never played a full season.

      With his handles and ability to create his own shot, Irving is one of the most established stars in the league. Sadly, he isn't necessarily the most reliable.

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      PHOTO: AP
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