Nets guard Irving says he hopes to avoid shoulder surgery

New York (AFP)


Kyrie Irving said the right shoulder injury that has disrupted his debut season with the Brooklyn Nets might need surgery, but he still hopes to avoid it.

Irving, who hasn't played an NBA game since November 14, told reporters on Saturday that he had received a cortisone injection on December 24 as part of his continuing recovery, but the effects can be variable.

"You either continue to get cortisone shots, which is obviously detrimental to your health in your muscles, or you go get arthroscopic surgery," he said.

"For me, it's just about being able to go back out there after the right amount of rehab, the right amount of rest, recovery, and see what we can do for the rest of the season and then re-evaluate after a few months."

Irving said the possibility of having surgery before the end of the season had "definitely" crossed his mind.

"But I felt that the next step in the progression is to get the cortisone and see how it responds and then move on from that point.

"I'm going to continue on the process that I'm on of rehabbing and try to get back out there with the guys."

Irving said he first felt pain in the shoulder in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans on November 4.

He spoke to team medical staff and began a regime of physical therapy, ice and taping the shoulder.

However, the pain persisted and got worse after the November 14 game, and Irving was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement.

"It really is disheartening when you know you're working your tail off to be at a certain level and your shooting shoulder just starts to give out on you a little bit," said Irving, who said he had consulted multiple shoulder specialists.

Although it's frustrating, Irving said he was "in a better place now.

"You know, just keep progressing and see where we end up in the next few weeks."