Nets' Kyrie Irving leaves preseason debut in China two minutes into game after taking shot to already-injured face
Irving, already wearing a mask to protect a facial fracture, took a Rajon Rondo shoulder to the face against the Lakers
Amid all the turmoil between China and the NBA, there was an actual basketball game scheduled to take place, giving fans in China an exciting matchup between the LeBron James and Anthony Davis-led Lakers and Kyrie Irving and the Nets. Unfortunately for any Irving fans in attendance, his Brooklyn debut lasted a swift 66 seconds.
Just two minutes into the game, Irving caught a stray shoulder to the face from Rajon Rondo while guarding him on the wing, and he immediately called to be taken out. Irving has been wearing a facial protection mask since in a pickup game before training camp in September.
Irving immediately slumped over on the bench while holding his face, and appeared to be in pain.
It can be incredibly frustrating for any player to travel all the way to China for a game, just to have it end abruptly before it really ever started. There's no word yet on the severity of Irving's injury. With the regular season just weeks away, the Nets would prefer to have their star player fully healthy before the season starts, and this inadvertent shot to the face is a minor setback for the All-Star guard.
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