BOSTON – Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors after suffering a minor facial fracture below his right eye in Friday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Irving was visiting with a face specialist Sunday and was expected to be fitted for a protective mask so that he can return to game action.
“The good news is, thus far, [the facial fracture is] the only point of pain in his face or head or neck or anything else,” Stevens said. “He hasn’t been diagnosed with a concussion. We’ll see how the doctor visit goes today and how everything else goes. We’ll keep monitoring for symptoms of that. We’re hopeful to have him back sooner rather than later.”
Al Horford, who has been dealing with concussion symptoms, is in the starting lineup. He missed the past two games.
Celtics big man Aron Baynes hit Irving while trying to defend a Kemba Walker shot attempt in the first quarter of Friday’s game. After fouling Walker on a drive, Baynes spun to box out, and his right elbow smashed Irving, who immediately collapsed to the floor clutching his face.
Irving was attended to by Celtics trainer Art Horne and left the court clutching a towel over his bloodied face.
Boston already was playing without Gordon Hayward (ankle) and Horford. Irving included, that’s $76.2 million worth of unavailable talent.
Even without their stars, the Celtics won their 11th straight game while rallying from 18 down to top Charlotte. Backup point guard Shane Larkin, who could see an increased role if Irving is out Sunday, scored a team-high 16 points in Friday’s win.
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