Irving will play through injury with fitted mask

BOSTON • Boston's Kyrie Irving has been diagnosed with a facial fracture and is out of this morning's (Singapore time) National Basketball Association (NBA) game against the Toronto Raptors, reported Yahoo Sports.

After the game in Toronto, where the Celtics are seeking their 12th straight win, he will be fitted with a mask for two weeks, which will allow him to return to the court, according to Yahoo Sports.

His minor fracture is just the latest health problem for the Celtics, on the NBA's longest winning streak despite the rash of injuries.

The likely loss of Irving against Toronto means Boston will be without their Big Three, which also comprises Gordon Hayward (out for season with a fractured ankle) and Al Horford (concussion).

Irving, a four-time All-Star averaging 20.3 points a game this season, suffered the injury in the first minute of Friday's 90-87 home win over the Charlotte Hornets.

He took an accidental elbow to the mouth from team-mate Aron Baynes. After the hit, he fell to the floor holding his face before he was attended to by Celtics trainer Art Horne and left the court clutching a towel over his bloodied face.

"I think this team has a chance to be one of those that just fights through adversity all the way," said Boston coach Brad Stevens.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2017, with the headline 'Irving will play through injury with fitted mask'. Print Edition | Subscribe