Nets' Kyrie Irving considering shoulder surgery
Kyrie Irving has not ruled out undergoing shoulder surgery, though the Brooklyn Nets star is hoping to avoid it.
Irving has endured a nightmare first season with the Nets – an ongoing shoulder problem sidelining the 2016 NBA champion since November.
The six-time All-Star, who arrived from the Boston Celtics in the offseason, is holding off on surgery but Irving will re-evaluate in a month or two.
"I am in a better place now that it has been a significant amount of time," Irving told reporters on Saturday. "The next step in any progression was to either get a cortisone shot or to get surgery. That was the ultimatum I was fixed with.
"Now, I'm just doing the best I can to live off this cortisone and move forward if I need surgery in the future."
Irving added: "A cortisone shot lasts as long as it can. You either continue to get cortisone shots, which is obviously detrimental to your health and your muscles, or you go get arthroscopic surgery.
"For me, it's just about being able to go back out there after the right amount of rehab, the right amount of rest and recovery and see what we can do for the rest of the season and then re-evaluate after a few months."
Irving has not played since a showdown against the Denver Nuggets on November 14.
Up until that point, Irving had been averaging 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Nets, who also have star recruit Kevin Durant recovering from an Achilles injury.
"It just sucks, man," Irving said. "It really is disheartening when you are working your tail off to be at a certain level and your shooting shoulder just starts to give out on you a little bit. You are looking at it like, 'Hey, it's just a shoulder. Let me ice this thing and get back out there.'
"But you keep feeling something in your shoulder and you're trying to explain it to the medical staff. You're trying to explain it to all these experts out there ... I'm doing all these exercises and still nothing is happening to get me back on the court."