NBA

Irving breaks hand during practice in Las Vegas

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Associated Press
7/15/2012 11:02:26 PM
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CLEVELAND -- The Cavaliers wanted to use this summer to put their new backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters together early.

They didn't even make it to the first game.

Irving, the team's young star and the NBA's reigning rookie of the year, broke his right hand slapping a padded wall in practice on Saturday and is expected to miss two months.

"It just really alters all the plans we had this summer as far as summer league was concerned," Cavs coach Byron Scott told reporters in Las Vegas on Sunday before the team opened summer league play against Charlotte. "That was Plan A. We didn't have a Plan B going into this because you just never imagine that happening."

Irving travelled back to Cleveland on Sunday but arrived too late to be seen by team doctors. He will be examined on Monday, when the Cavs will have a better sense of how long they will be without their leading scorer, top playmaker and budding franchise player. On Saturday, the team estimated Irving would be back by the opening of training camp in late September.

In the meantime, the Cavs won't have Irving to pair with Waiters, the No. 4 overall pick in last month's draft.

Irving was upset after making a turnover and slapped the padding inside a high school gymnasium where the Cavs were practicing. The moment of frustration will cost him dearly.

Although Irving played in only 11 games as a freshman at Duke and missed 14 last season as a rookie, Scott dismissed the notion that the talented 20-year-old is injury prone.

"That was just something stupid on his part," Scott said. "As soon as I saw it .... I didn't see him initially hit the thing, but I saw when he came down the court he was kind of holding his hand. I said, 'What did you do?' The first thing he said was, 'Something stupid.' So he knew right away it was something he shouldn't have done -- just a little anger at not making a pass or the pass wasn't completed.

"He was upset with himself and he took it out on the wall. The wall won, obviously."

The No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, Irving averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists, 3.7 assists and ran away with rookie of the year honours. Last week, he put on several dazzling performances in scrimmages against the U.S. Olympic team and was singled out afterward by coach Mike Krzyzewski, LeBron James and other Olympians for his play.

Kyrie Irving (Photo: David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(Photo: David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images)
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