Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving out 3 to 6 weeks after knee operation

WASHINGTON, USA – Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving is expected to miss 3 to 6 weeks after a procedure to remove a wire in his surgically repaired left knee, the NBA team said Saturday, March 24.

With the first round of the playoffs set to start on April 14, a 6-week absence would see the Celtics star sidelined well into the postseason.

The removal of the wire, originally placed to help repair a fractured patella Irving suffered while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals, should relieve the irritation that has led to pain in Irving's knee.

The Celtics already have secured a playoff berth and are currently second in the Eastern Conference, 4 1/2 games behind the Toronto Raptors and 6 games ahead of the Cavaliers.

Irving, who celebrated his 26th birthday Friday, March 23, is averaging 24.4 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 60 games this season.

We celebrate @KyrieIrving 's 26th Birthday.... with his BEST LEFT-HANDED FINISHES! #NBABDAY — NBA (@NBA) March 23, 2018

Ranked 10th among league scorers, he missed a 5th-straight game on Friday with the discomfort that he said began during a March 3 loss to the Houston Rockets. –