Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his right shoulder, Nets general manager Sean Marks announced Thursday.
The injury, described throughout the season as an “impingement,” has bothered Irving since early November. He missed 26 games between Nov. 16 and Jan. 10. In that time, he visited a specialist and received a cortisone shot, but his shoulder hasn’t been 100 percent since his return to action on Jan. 12.
Irving, who turns 28 in March, is averaging 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds in his first campaign with the Nets. He signed a four-year, $136 million deal as a free agent in July. More recently, a sprained knee sidelined Irving for the final five games before the All-Star break.
The Nets are 17-16 this season when Irving doesn’t play, and they are 8-12 when he has seen action. The team won 12 of its first 18 games without Irving.
–Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard said that he will miss three to four games due to the groin injury he sustained on Feb. 12.
Lillard suffered the injury against the Memphis Grizzlies, and the ailment forced him to sit out the All-Star Game. The first contest he will miss is a Friday home game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Lillard didn’t participate in practice Thursday.
Lillard ranks fourth in the NBA with a 29.5 scoring average. He also averages 7.9 assists. Lillard has scored at least 20 points in 21 straight appearances, and he enjoyed an epic six-game streak from Jan. 20-Feb. 1 in which he averaged 48.8 points and made 49 of 86 3-point attempts.
–The Los Angeles Clippers signed free agent guard Reggie Jackson, the team announced, with terms of the deal not divulged.
Jackson, 29, averaged 14.9 points, 5.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 14 games (10 starts) with the Detroit Pistons this season before agreeing to a contract buyout. He was completing the final season of a five-year, $80 million contract with the Pistons.
Jackson started Detroit’s final six games before the All-Star break and had three 20-point performances in that span. He played in the first two games of the season then missed nearly two months with a back injury.
–Celtics All-Star point guard Kemba Walker will miss Boston’s Friday home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves due to left knee soreness.
Boston coach Brad Stevens said Walker has been dealing with pain in the knee all season. Walker underwent surgeries on his left knee in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Walker, 29, played 29 minutes and scored 23 points Sunday in the All-Star Game, but the time off afterward didn’t help alleviate the soreness.
The Friday contest will be the ninth that Walker has missed this season. He didn’t miss a single game for the Charlotte Hornets last season. Walker, a four-time All-Star, is averaging 21.8 points and five assists this season.
–Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry is back at practice, and his injured hand will be re-evaluated on Feb. 28.
Curry practiced Wednesday without a brace on his left hand, which he fractured in October. If doctors agree with coach Steve Kerr’s assessment and Curry is cleared to return, he could play immediately. As of Thursday, Curry hadn’t participated in five-on-five scrimmages, and he won’t be cleared until he does.
Including the Oct. 30 game in which he was injured, Curry has played in four games this season, averaging 20.3 points and 6.5 assists while hitting only 24.3 percent of his 3-point shots.
–Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III will miss at least three more weeks due to issues with his sprained left foot, the team announced.
The Kings said an update on Bagley’s progress will be released in three weeks. Bagley hasn’t played since Jan. 20, and he recently aggravated the foot, according to NBC Sports California. The Kings’ Thursday night home game against the Memphis Grizzlies will mark the 12th straight contest he has missed.
Bagley, 20, also injured the foot in a Dec. 26 contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves and missed eight games. The second-year pro also was sidelined for 22 games after fracturing his right thumb in the season opener. Bagley is averaging 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in just 13 games (six starts) this season.
–Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jake Layman was cleared to return to practice after missing 39 games with a sprained left toe.
The team said the 25-year-old will be re-evaluated in one week to determine an update to his playing status. Layman injured the toe on Nov. 18 at Utah and has been evaluated by multiple foot specialists since.
In 14 games (two starts) this season, he is averaging a career-high 10.5 points on 46.2 percent shooting, including a career-best 35.2 percent shooting from 3-point range.
–Field Level Media