(Reuters) - Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving had surgery on Saturday to repair his fractured left kneecap, a procedure described as successful by the National Basketball Association team.
Irving underwent surgery as the injury-depleted Cavs prepared to face the Golden State Warriors in Game Two of the NBA Finals on Sunday.
Already trailing after losing Game One of the best-of-seven series, the Cavs will be without two of their three regular starters, Irving and the previously injured Kevin Love, and must depend even more on four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James.
“Irving’s return to basketball activity is projected to be in three to four months and appropriate updates will be issued as he moves through the recovery process,” the Cavaliers said in a statement.
Irving, 23, who has been bothered with tendinitis in the same knee for the past six weeks. He incurred the fracture in an awkward fall during overtime of Game One on Thursday.
He had 23 points in the game along with seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocked shots. His timely block from behind on Stephen Curry late in the fourth quarter helped the Cavs force overtime.
Despite the absence of Irving and Love, four-time NBA most Valuable Player James, who had a game-high 44 points in the loss, is nonetheless talking up his team’s chances.
“The good thing about it, we’ve been in this position before,” James said.
“It’s something that’s not new to us. So next man up, and guys will be ready for the challenge.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene Cherry