By. Taha Qureshi
INDIANA -- The sight of Kyrie Irving crumpled on the floor and writhing in agonizing pain in Game 4 was difficult to watch even if you're not a Brooklyn Nets fan.
But the ability to hurdle the obstacle course of injuries that potientially occur in a fast-paced, semi-contact sports such as basketball injuries is a required "skill" for NBA teams who wish to navigate a deep playoffs run.
With a grade 2 sprain, Irving has been claimed as a casualty, right beside teammate James Harden who continues to nurse a bad hamstring. Irving, like Harden, has been ruled out for Game 5 and their status remains up in the air.
While Irving's exit is shocking, it's barely any surprise. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound point guard has a long history of injuries since he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers as No.1 overall pick in 2011.
According to Fox Sports, besides the usual aches, pains and sprains, Irving has dealt with at least 27 rows worth of injury report updates.
A knee surgery in 2018 ranks among the serious of maladies that include a left hip strain, a left quad contusion, a thigh contusion, injuries on both shoulders, a bum finger and a facial fracture that required him to wear a mask when he was still a Boston Celtic in 2019.
Even before turning pro, Irving had been besieged with injuries.
In his lone season at Duke University, the one-time NBA champion and seven-time All-Star was limited to 11 games with the Blue Devils due to a "severe ligament injury on the right big toe."
Now campainging in his 10th year in the NBA, Irving has missed 197 out of a possible 779 regular season games. He has never played a full season.
With his handles and ability to create his own shot, Irving is oe of the most established stars in the league. Sadly, he isn't necessarily the most reliable.