CLEVELAND: The Dark Knight isn’t returning, but Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will again be wearing a mask.
Irving was diagnosed with a minimally displaced right nasal fracture on Friday, according to the team, after he took an elbow to the face from Minnesota Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer while going for a rebound during the first quarter of Wednesday night’s game.
Last year, Irving wore a couple different kinds of masks after fracturing his jaw.
But he wasn’t a fan of the all-black mask he first put on, even though he scored a career-high 41-points against the New York Knicks in his first game with it.
“I’m not the Dark Knight tonight,” Irving said before the game with Charlotte on Friday night. “However long they think it’s necessary for me to wear it, I’m going to wear it. I think it’s probably going to be two weeks.”
Irving said there will be no difference in the game plan while he has the mask. But there are some drawbacks.
“Your peripheral vision kind of gets taken out,” he said. “It’s just an adjustment you have to get used to. I’m just blessed enough I can still go out there and play with this injury. I’m going to go out there and give it my all with the mask on.”
Irving joked Friday night that he was first worried about his appearance after getting hit.
He had a black eye but since it’s a right nasal fracture, and not quite a traditional broken nose, he felt better looking in the mirror. Jarrett Jack, getting ready in the next locker, joked that Irving’s modeling career wasn’t going anywhere, anyway.
The NBA on Friday released the names of those who will appear on the NBA All-Star ballots this season.
Irving, Andrew Bynum, Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson all represent the Cavs. It’s Thompson’s first time on the ballot.
“It’s definitely an honor whenever the NBA can give recognition for such a [prestigious] sporting event in our business,” Thompson said. “It was definitely a dream growing up.
‘‘But my whole focus right now is on the season and winning games and improving our record.
‘‘All the other personal achievements and accolades, they come when you win.”
With Dion Waiters still sidelined with flulike symptoms, C.J. Miles received the start at shooting guard Friday night.
Miles said before the game he doesn’t view a starting role much differently than a reserve role, just as long as he’s in the rotation.
“I want to play,” Miles said. “If my role is to be a sixth man or be a starter, whatever it may be, that’s what I’m going to accept and I’m just going to play hard in that role.”
Cavs coach Mike Brown also said that Waiters’ absence could lead to more minutes for rookie Sergey Karasev.
Bynum has been away from the team since Tuesday as he deals with a family medical matter.
Brown said he still expects Bynum to be ready for the game against the Washington Wizards tonight, though he’s “not rushing him back.”
“If he’s there, great, if not, what he’s doing is way more important than what we have going on,” Brown said.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.