Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski acknowledged Tuesday that Kyrie Irving may return to the Blue Devils during the NCAA Tournament.
“There is a chance Kyrie will play,” Coach K said, according to a Tweet from the Duke Chronicle.
Irving’s return would definitely bolster Duke’s chances of repeating as NCAA champions. Though just a freshman, he is arguably their best player and will likely be among the top several picks in June’s NBA Draft.
Irving, a West Orange, N.J. native, has been out since he injured his right big toe Dec. 4 against Butler.
“There’s a possibility of it happening,” Irving said Sunday after Duke’s 75-58 win over North Carolina in the ACC Tournament championship, according to The Herald Sun. “I’m not sure. I can’t put a percentage on it, but we’ll see.”
Duke (30-4) is the No. 1 seed in the West Regional and will open tournament play Friday against Hampton in Charlotte.
According to the Herald Sun, Irving is wearing a Nike-designed special shoe that protects his toe from bending awkwardly and causing additional damage.
“I’m not really worried about damaging it again because the special shoes that I wear will prevent my toe from actually going back as far as it did when I hurt it the first time,” Irving told the paper. “The shoes I’m wearing now will definitely prevent it.”
(photo courtesy ACC Insider)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.