DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Top-ranked Duke says freshman point guard Kyrie Irving is out indefinitely with a toe injury, and coach Mike Krzyzewski said there’s a possibility it could be for the rest of the season.
Krzyzewski said after Wednesday night’s 83-48 win over Bradley that the star guard is being evaluated by doctors at Duke and nationally. The team hopes to learn more about his status in the next week to 10 days, but Krzyzewski called Irving’s injury “a serious one.”
Irving sat on the bench in street clothes wearing a boot on his right foot to protect the big toe injured in last weekend’s win against Butler. Krzyzewski said the team didn’t learn of the seriousness of the injury until it returned to campus and that Irving could be out “for a long time.”
“Everybody’s game changes, including mine,” Krzyzewski said. “It doesn’t mean a wholesale change in what you’re doing, but it changes everything including the habits of having played with that great player for the entire preseason and eight games.”
Irving was second on the team in scoring at 17.4 points per game, while his ability to push the ball in transition had sparked a faster pace for the defending national champions. He had a season-high 31 points in a practically flawless performance here against Michigan State last week, then had 21 points against Butler and even returned to the game after suffering the injury.
Senior Nolan Smith was the primary ballhandler against Bradley and had a career-high 10 assists, but he managed just two points on 0-for-8 shooting. Seth Curry served as Smith’s backup, while freshman Tyler Thornton also saw minutes early against the Braves.