Kyrie Irving appears to have escaped an injury scare relatively unscathed during Team USA’s 95-71 victory against Ukraine in Thursday’s World Cup preliminary round.
Irving landed hard on his tailbone and remained on the ground for several moments before he was helped off the court and limped to the locker room late in the game. Irving told ESPN after the game the fall looked worse than it was and wrote on his Twitter account he’s fine.
“I’m all good everybody, just a tough fall,” Irving wrote. “Appreciate the concern.”
Irving told ESPN he will not miss any time. The Americans play again on Saturday in the round of 16 in Barcelona.
It’s curious why Irving was still in the game at the time of the fall. The Americans led 93-65 with 1:12 remaining when he drove to the basket and lost his balance. Although it’s a team of All-Stars, Irving was the only starter still playing at the time of the fall.
Steph Curry started alongside Irving and the only other point guard on the roster, Derrick Rose, is returning from two serious knee injuries and his time has been limited. Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski elected not to carry another point guard to Spain.
Irving had 11 points, six assists and four steals in Thursday’s victory. He is averaging 9.8 points, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals in the five preliminary round victories.