Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving will miss tonight's game against the Milwaukee Bucks and tomorrow's game against the Philadelphia 76ers because of the concussion he suffered earlier in the week. Coach Byron Scott said Irving will be re-evaluated after the weekend games before another decision is made on his availability.
Irving was held out of Friday morning's shootaround and watched in street clothes. He was not made available to reporters.
"We all know how serious this thing can be," Scott said. "That's why we are taking such a cautious look at this to make sure when he comes back, he's OK. We don't want to put a young man at risk and that's the biggest thing."
The NBA has a new concussion policy established in December. Once a player is diagnosed with a concussion, he must complete a series of steps to prove he is healthy enough to play, beginning with riding a stationary bike, jogging, agility work and non-contact drills. If the symptoms do not return, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, a neurologist hired to lead the concussion program, is consulted before the player is cleared.
The entire process could take a number of days, or in severe cases, even weeks.
Head injuries in basketball are rare, but the NBA implemented strict policies after concussions became a hot topic in the NFL over the last few years. Scott said this is the first time he has been exposed to a concussion in the NBA, either as a player or coach.
"Being cautious about it is important," Scott said. "Kyrie understands. He wasn't real happy about it the other night, but I think he understands we're doing all this in his best interest."
With Irving out, the Cavs signed point guard Ben Uzoh to a 10-day contract. Uzoh was playing in the Development League after spending last season with the New Jersey Nets. Ramon Sessions will remain the starting point guard in Irving's absence.
In other injury news, Tristan Thompson is expected to return from a sprained left ankle tonight, while Anthony Parker remains sidelined with a bad back.