The injuries just keep rolling in for the Brooklyn Nets. With 5:52 remaining in the second quarter of Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday afternoon, All-Star guard Kyrie Irving was writhing in pain on the ground and grabbing at his right ankle. He was able to get up and walk to the locker room under his own power, but would miss the remainder of the game. The good news is that head coach Steve Nash said Irving’s initial X-rays came back negative. The star guard will undergo further testing and treatment in the coming days. Irving left Fiserv Forum using crutches and with his right ankle in a walking boot, according to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
The injury occurred when Irving was landing after putting up a shot attempt at the basket. On his way down, Giannis Antetokounmpo came up behind him preparing to grab a rebound, but his foot was underneath Irving’s landing space and caused him to come down directly on top of it. You can see the play below:
Prior to the injury, Irving had 11 points and five rebounds while the Nets and Bucks were locked in a tightly contested game. After Irving exited the game, the Bucks were able to pull away and they ultimately came away with a 107-96 win to tie the series up at 2-2. Irving’s status for the remainder of the series is an unknown at this time, but Nash is trying his best to be optimistic.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen with [Kyrie] in the coming days,” Nash said after the game. “We’ll cross our fingers and hope that it’s better than — I don’t know, better than what? — better than missing the next game.”
Nash also made it clear that the injury to Irving won’t impact James Harden’s return timeline. Harden has been sidelined since the opening minutes of the series with a hamstring injury.
“James is an independent case. I don’t want James to be rushed back,” Nash said. “If he’s able to play next game or the game after, that’s fantastic. If he’s not, I don’t want to rush him back and jeopardize doing something worse or making this a long-term injury. So we’ll see. We’ll have to take all of these things into account, and evaluate them and try to make a smart decision.”
Irving’s injury is obviously a big blow for Brooklyn, especially with Harden already sidelined, and it was certainly a big factor in the fact that the Bucks were able to walk away with a win in Game 4. Moving forward, the Nets just have to hope that Irving’s injury isn’t too serious, and that he’s able to return to game action in short order. Game 5 between the Nets and Bucks is scheduled for Tuesday night.