Celtics notebook: Kyrie Irving still out; Jaylen Brown close to return

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There is no timetable for Irving's return, but he will not be on the Celtics' four-game road swing through the West that starts Friday. Tony Massarotti of 98.5 The Sports Hub reported the All-Star guard needs to remove the screws in his knee or he will not play at all. Irving broke his left kneecap in Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals.

Irving's issue continues to be soreness and does not appear to be a structural concern, reports ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Tuesday night was the fourth straight game Irving missed since his night was cut short when the knee flared up at halftime of last Sunday's game against the Indiana Pacers. "Or I haven't talked to Danny (Ainge) or our staff about it".

Celtics coach Brad Stevens recently revealed that the former Cavaliers star was feeling "better and better" and that there was a chance of him featuring in Sunday's 108-39 loss against the New Orleans Pelicans, only to pull out in the last second. But he has worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. Most likely the second doctor says "rest is all you need", but better to be safe than sorry.

"Just continued soreness is what's made the decision not to play tonight, and made the decision to not go on the trip and seek outside counsel", Stevens said. "That knee has been sore", Stevens said before the team's 100-99 win against the Thunder.

Stevens also emphasized that Irving is not sidelined because the team is electing to rest him in preparation for the postseason: "This is not one of those situations where we're choosing to rest somebody". "It's not new pain by any means, nothing new". And we want him fresh and healthy. We knew coming into this year that he probably wasn't going to be an 82-game guy. That knee has been sore.

"I'm not concerned. Where we are in the season, I'm pretty comfortable", Irving said.

"Jaylen has gone through the continued progression and is going in the right direction", Stevens said.

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