Originally written November 20, 2012 on Fox Sports Ohio:
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Kyrie Irving has a broken finger, but could probably play. Like everyone else in the NBA, he really wants to play. So why dont let the Cavaliers just let him do it? After all, its only a hairline fracture in his left index finger. Thats not even on his shooting hand. Right? "Yeah, but if he gets this thing hit again, then it requires surgery and then instead of three or four (weeks), you're talking about months," Scott said. "I don't think we're being overly cautious by saying, Let's shut it down and see how it looks in a couple weeks and go from there.' " The Cavs doctors will indeed take another look at Irving in two weeks. While no one on the team is saying it, theres a chance Irving could return then. Dont get your hopes up -- but its possible. As for returning to the practice court, well, Irving has already done that much. On Tuesday, he was dressed in a sweaty t-shirt and shorts, his normal practice gear, and going through the normal shooting drills with fellow Cavs guard Daniel Gibson. Irvings left fingers were taped, but other than that, it seemed like business as usual. Well, not exactly business as usual. Hes not getting (the finger) hit or anything like that, Scott said. Plus, hes hard-headed. Irving has been injured off and on dating back to college. Hes great when he plays, obviously, but is having a hard time to staying on the floor for an entire season in his young career. But again, part of that is because his employer is erring on the side of caution. That makes sense, as the Cavs are 2-8 and, as Scott indicated, theyd rather have a completely healthy Kyrie than some banged-up kid whos playing less than his best, and not healing in the process. Thats sort of what happened in Sundays loss at Philadelphia. Irving, in noticeable pain, scored a season-low nine points on 4-for-14 shooting. More than that, he just didnt display his usual dose of basketball heroism, particularly late in the game. It was just very frustrating against Philly; I knew I couldnt play with it, Irving said of the injury. I couldnt hold onto the ball, especially in the fourth quarter. Thats when Im at my best, I just couldnt put the ball in my left hand or make any moves. Irving leads the Cavs in scoring at 22.9 points per game. He leads them in assists at 5.6 per game. He is their heart and soul. He loves the game, it loves him, and he will do as much as he can to stay as prepared as possible. I can still get shots up every day and maintain my conditioning and come back ready to play, he said. Until then, the Cavs and their fans can probably take comfort in knowing that when Irving finally is ready, hell be completely ready. His broken finger will have healed. If there is a dose of good news in all this, perhaps that right there is it. Dribbles Scott said either Donald Sloan or Jeremy Pargo will start in place of Irving. Rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters will also lend a hand at point. Gibson has played the position, too. With a record a 2-8 and Irving set to miss some time, the Cavs arent overly concerned with wins and losses at this point. Were just trying to take baby steps, Scott said. The record is not my main concern. The main concern is to continue to get better. If we continue to get better, the rest will take care of itself. The Cavs rematch with Philadelphia tips off at 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Q. Showtime on FOX Sports Ohio begins at 6:30. Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO
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