Former Cavs All-Star Kyrie Irving will miss the playoffs following knee surgery

Kyrie Irving will not return in time to play in this year's playoffs

GETTYKyrie Irving will not return in time to play in this year's playoffs

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will miss the remainder of the regular season and the 2018 playoffs while recovering from left knee surgery, reports ESPN.

Irving has averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists per game this season for the Celtics, who are now the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and have already clinched a playoff spot. Despite likely finishing as the No. 2 seed back east, it's now nearly a foregone conclusion that Boston will ultimately fall short if its championship aspirations.

In the 2017-18 National Basketball Association season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics lost Gordon Hayward to a season-ending injury.

Irving appeared in 60 games this season, averaging 24.4 points. That is no longer the case, a huge blow to the Celtics' chances in the playoffs.

The Raptors, who defeated the Celtics on Wednesday, are on the verge of clinching the top seed in the East.

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In Irving's absence, the bulk of the point guard duties have fallen on Terry Rozier because fellow guard Marcus Smart underwent surgery on his right thumb last month.

The question is whether a by-committee approach will be enough against potential first-round opponents, which could be Miami, Washington or Milwaukee. He has begun light jogging but the Celtics insist that Hayward will not play again this year.

According to the team, Irving will have two screws removed from his left knee after dealing with an infection from a previous surgery.

"Following a mid-March procedure to remove a tension wire that had been implanted at the same time as the screws, pathology indicated the presence of a bacterial infection at the site of the hardware".

The team said the knee was structurally sound and the kneecap healed, but the wire had been putting pressure on the knee. This season was only a snapshot of what's to come from me.

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