The Dallas Mavericks announced guard Kyrie Irving has a right-heel contusion Saturday afternoon, after a scary fall when Dwight Powell landed directly on Irving’s lower legs in the second quarter of Friday’s win against the Portland Trail Blazers.
No timetable for Irving’s return was given by the Mavericks, but sources close to the team told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that the team “feels fortunate” after how bad the injury looked when it happened. Irving stayed on the floor in pain for a while after Powell fell on him going for an offensive rebound, and was then helped to the locker room.
NBA insider Marc Stein reported that Irving did not fly with the team to Memphis, so Irving is definitely missing Monday’s game against the Grizzlies. Sports injury expert Jeff Stotts said for general heel contusions, the average missed time is around two games.
The first hint that Irving avoided serious injury came when The Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend relayed info from Tim Hardaway Jr., who said Irving greeted the team in the locker room after the win and was in good spirits.
Unfortunately the injury occurs while the Mavericks are dealing with quite a few. Maxi Kleber still has no return in sight from a dislocated toe, while Josh Green will be out for a few weeks with a right elbow injury. Grant Williams missed the last few games with a sore knee, but is expected to return as soon as Monday against the Grizzlies.
In the interim expect Seth Curry to fill the shooting void in the starting lineup, in addition to more minutes for Dante Exum, who continues to excel in recent games.