Duke in the NBA: Kyrie Irving Done For the Season

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While not entirely unexpected - Irving has missed 18 of the Celtics' 78 matches so far this season - the diagnosis comes as a major blow for Boston, who have been beset by injuries this season.

Which is why the true kill shot to Boston's season didn't come until news dropped on Thursday that Kyrie Irving will require a second knee surgery which will keep him out for months.

With Irving becoming unrestricted free agent in 2019 and a Boston's core of young players developing nicely, the Celtics will have the option to add draft talent or to clear max cap space in 2020 and 2021.

Irving took to Instagram after news broke and shared a lengthy message to fans, writing, "The hardest thing to do sometimes is accept the uncontrollable things life throws at you". It's simply a test of your perseverance and Will, to be present, even in the wake of what's going on.

Here's the full statement from the Celtics: "This Saturday, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will undergo a procedure to remove two screws implanted in his left patella after the patellar fracture he suffered during the NBA Finals in 2015".

On March 24, the 2016 National Basketball Association champion underwent what the Celtics described as a "minimally invasive procedure" to remove a tension wire that was inserted in his left knee three years ago, indicating he would be back within three to six weeks.

Irving had a tension wire removed from his left knee last month as it was causing him severe discomfort.

This is Irving's first season in Boston after he demanded to be traded from Cleveland.

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First reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, it appears that the All-Star point guard's season has come to an end. Trust Me. "The journey back to the top of Mt. Everest continues".

The Celtics been battling without key players most of this season, and still managed to finish with one of the top two records in the Eastern Conference.

Unlike the Wizards and Bucks, the Heat don't have one or two clear-cut offensive superstars for Stevens' defense to focus on stopping - which means no one on the Celtics can afford to take a defensive possession off. Spoelstra has approximately 400 different lineups equally adept at cutting the Celtics' jugular if Boston is anything less than flawless on either end of the floor.

A few interesting things have developed during the Irving injuries this season, particularly lately: Marcus Morris has become a go-to performer.

Marus Smart has proven that he is the best distributor for the Celtics when Irving is not on the court, averaging 6.1 assists per 36. Boston's next game will be Friday night at home against Chicago.

Irving's absence has created an opening for reserve guard Terry Rozier, who is playing his best basketball in his third year in the league.

The Sixers have been unstoppable of late, as they are on a 12-game win streak.

Veteran Al Horford and second-year forward Jaylen Brown have also had their moments over the second half of the season.

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