Kyrie Irving out for the rest of the season and playoffs

For instance, if Philadelphia does end up finding a way to earn that No. 3 seed over over Cleveland, the chances of them meeting Boston in the second round seem likely, assuming they find a way to escape the first round.

The Celtics have been depleted by injuries all season. The team still has young swingmen Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, plus veteran big men Al Horford, but losing Irving and Hayward on the perimeter will make them a far easier out come playoff time.

Irving out for playoffs following knee surgeryEds: APNewsNow. Irving is expected to recover fully in four to five months, the team said. The 26-year-old had surgery to remove a tension wire in his left knee last month.

"The hardest thing to do sometimes is accept the uncontrollable things life throws at you", he wrote in an Instagram post. It's simply a test of your perseverance and Will, to be present, even in the wake of what's going on.

"To ensure that no infection remains in the knee, the screws will be removed".

Saturday's surgery is to remove two screws from his patella that were inserted in 2015 to fix a fracture he suffered in Game 1 of that year's NBA Finals.

The Celtics said Irving's patella is completely healed and "remains structurally sound".

Boston has not had much luck in recent seasons.

Gordon Hayward's injury cost the Celtics the first seed, now Irving's injury has cost them their season.

The news is devastating for a Boston Celtics team that was hopeful Irving, who had a first surgery on March 24, would be available for the second round. Irving has been out for the last 11 games, with Boston going 7-4 without him.

The Celtics have relied on third-year point guard Terry Rozier since Irving was sidelined. He has appeared in 77 of 78 games, starting 13.

Others have stepped up as well. Rookie Jayson Tatum has also hit a midseason stride, scoring in double figures in eight straight games before that streak ended in Wednesday's loss at Toronto. Bench forward Daniel Theis is out for the season.

As the Miami Heat (sixth spot) and Milwaukee Bucks (eighth spot) are only separated by half a game, the Celtics are now scheduled to face the Washington Wizards.

  • Stacy Allen