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.
"The shoulder is a tough thing," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "I just think it was an on-and-off thing where it's bothering you. Some days you feel good, some days you don't feel good. But I think it got to the point it was, 'Hey, let's see another specialist.' "
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.
Last summer, the six-time All-Star Irving signed his big-dollar contract with the Nets and star forward Kevin Durant worked a sign-and-trade deal that sent him from the Golden State Warriors to Brooklyn. Durant hasn't played this season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon, and recent reports have indicated there is a possibility he could return in the postseason.
Brooklyn resumes play after the All-Star break on Thursday night at Philadelphia. The Nets are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, two games ahead of the Orlando Magic.
--Field Level Media