Kyrie Irving plans to play Tuesday night when the Boston Celtics square off with the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
The Celtics point guard, who missed Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors after suffering a facial fracture in Boston’s win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night, will wear a protective mask, reminding fans of the success he had in the past while wearing a mask with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I hate wearing it but somehow it’s caused a craze on Instagram as well as social media,” Irving said Tuesday at the Celtics’ shootaround, per ESPN.com. “It’s masked man. But I understand that it’s just for my safety so throw on the mask for a few weeks and go about my business.”
Irving suffered the fracture below his right eye when he was accidentally elbowed Friday by Celtics teammate Aron Baynes. It’ll mark the third time in his career that Irving will be required to play with a protective mask — he did it for two extended stints during his time with the Cavs — so it’s not like this is uncharted waters for the 25-year-old, even if it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world.
“You just want to keep this thing as pretty as possible but, hey, it’s getting tougher and tougher the more aggressive I play,” said Irving, who pointed out that he probably won’t be able to yell as much as he’d like. “Hopefully I won’t get elbowed by one of my teammates today.”
The Celtics enter Tuesday’s game against the Nets riding a 12-game winning streak.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images