Injury Alert: Kyrie Irving could be out for the season?! Pau Gasol returning soon

By Matt Formica

Cavs star Kyrie Irving will be sidelined for a month; while Pau Gasol’s return could be right around the corner.

Hoopsvibe’s quick call:  The Lakers are in good position to make a playoff run; the Cavs probably wouldn’t have made the postseason with Irving; they are definitely out now.

Unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the organization announced Monday that their star player and point guard, Kyrie Irving, will be out for three to four weeks with a shoulder injury.

Irving sprained his shoulder during Sunday’s loss to the Raptors after after he slammed into Toronto forward Jonas Valanciunas in the third quarter.

But the NBA regular season ends in roughly five weeks time; so I’d have to imagine Irving may just take the rest of the year off and get as healthy as possible for next season.  The Cavs are currently 12 games back from the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, which makes the road ahead tough enough with Irving, and next to impossible without him.

Irving, who also broke a finger and hyper-extended a knee so far this season, leads the Cavaliers in almost every major statistical category: points, assists, steals, free-throw attempts, field goal attempts and three-point shooting percentage.  He’s averaging 23 points, 5.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

At 20 years old, he was also the youngest player selected to this year’s All-Star team.

It’s a tough break for the Cavs.  Having said that, Cleveland fans should be hopeful for the future of their team with Irving.  There’s only one way to go from here…

Better news out of La La Land (that’s Los Angeles for those new to the program):

Pau Gasol was given the doctor’s go ahead to start running Monday.

Having Gasol back in the lineup would help the Lakers tremendously, as they are currently riding a three-game win streak and tied with the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

There have been a handful of times this season when it looked as if the Lakers were going to need a miracle to even make the playoffs, but Kobe Bryant has been on a tear as of late and the team is looking better and better.

Gasol has been out since February 5th, and at one point it wasn’t certain if he would be healthy enough to return before the end of the regular season.  Now it’s looking like the Lakers big man could be back in action in just two weeks time.  And with Jordan Hill out for the season with a hip injury, the purple and gold could use a healthy Gasol asap.

The Lakers play in a very interesting game Tuesday night, when they visit Dwight Howard’s former team, the Orlando Magic, one week after Howard told the media Orlando was a team “full of players nobody wanted.”

The dogfight tips off at 7:00 P.M. Eastern time.

Will Dwight dominate his former team to help the Lakers win streak continue?  Or will the Magic, who beat the Lakers by 10 points earlier this season, prevail once again?  Leave your comments below!

And for more NBA news and rumors follow us on twitter @hoopsvibe