Contrary to earlier reports, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving won't make his season debut on Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was reported on Wednesday morning that Irving was set to take the floor after missing the first 23 games of the regular season, a source told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
The three-time All-Star took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to set the record straight.
Sorry to dwindle the news, but I won't be returning tmrw. It was wrongfully reported. When I do come back you'll hear it directly from me.
— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) December 16, 2015
Irving has been sidelined while he recovers from surgery to repair a fractured kneecap suffered in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The 23-year-old was cleared for full contact more than a week ago and has been through several practices without any setbacks. All that remains before he is cleared to play is a series of physical tests to ensure his body is up to the challenge of playing in an NBA game.
According to Cleveland.com’s Chris Haynes, Irving is likely aiming for a return in the Cavaliers’ next game, on Dec. 20 against Philadelphia. All signs currently point toward Irving being in the lineup for an NBA Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 25.
Irving's imminent return comes on the heels of Iman Shumpert's extended absence. The swingman has been sidelined all season with a wrist injury, and returned to action on Friday. But Shumpert will miss more time after suffering a groin injury on Tuesday night, and has been ruled out for Thursday's game.