NBA: Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to have season-ending shoulder surgery

Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving's shoulder has not been 100 per cent since his return to action on Jan 12. PHOTO: REUTERS/TOMMY GILLIGAN/USA TODAY SPORTS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his right shoulder, Nets general manager Sean Marks announced on Thursday (Feb 20).

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 has not been 100 per cent 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 next month, is averaging 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds in his first campaign with the Nets. He signed a four-year, US$136 million (S$190.4 million) deal as a free agent in July.

More recently, a sprained knee sidelined him for the final five games before the All-Star break.

The Nets are 17-16 this season when Irving does not play, and they are 8-12 when he has seen action. The team won 12 of their first 18 games without him.

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 has not played this season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon, and recent reports have indicated there is a possibility he could return in the post-season.

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