The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving found himself hurting on Thursday night in the team’s preseason opener against the Los Angeles Lakers, forcing him to make an early exit.
The game, which was played in Shanghai, China as part of the NBA’s 13th annual China Games series, was marked by the aggravation of a facial injury that forced the Nets’ newly-signed star point guard to leave after only a minute of action.
Irving, who sustained facial fractures during the offseason and began the night wearing a mask to protect his face, caught an inadvertent blow to the face from Rajon Rondo and immediately clutched at his face in pain.
Less than a minute after his season began, he was forced to leave as a precaution to avoid further aggravation of his injury.
Brooklyn has yet to release any more information about Irving’s condition, but the blow didn’t look to be overly serious. However, it remains to be seen if the team will put the brakes on him heading into the season or even force him to miss the team’s regular season opener on Wednesday, October 23rd against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Nets fans will have to hope that Irving didn’t attempt to come back from injury too early, potentially pushing back his debut with the team.