INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- After suffering a strained head tendon in his left biceps in a 102-80 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers two weeks ago, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was cleared to return to full-contact practice by team doctors on Monday afternoon.
And return Irving did in Tuesday's practice ahead of the trip to Orlando for Wednesday's game against the Magic. Irving will go through the team's shoot-around on Wednesday morning before it will be determined if he will be able to play against the Magic.
"If I'm ready to go, I see no reason to stop me, but obviously, everyone has their reasons in this business," Irving said. "You have a respect for it, but as a basketball player, and as a competitor, there's an inner drive to get back out there that I have, and we'll see what happens during shoot-around.
"I will go through shoot-around tomorrow, talk with the medical team, talk with my side of things as well, and see what's the best decision for me. Ultimately, I'll be making that decision and we'll see how it goes."
Whether it be in Orlando on Wednesday, Atlanta on Friday or against the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday, when Irving does return to the lineup, he will bring with him an average of 21.2 points, 6.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.39 steals per game. In 64 games this season, Irving has shot 42.8 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from three-point range and a team-best 85.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Following shoot-around tomorrow, the coaching and medical staffs will determine whether or not Irving will have a "minute restriction" similar to the gradual increase in playing time utilized for forward Anderson Varejao when he returned to the team after missing nearly a month because of a back injury.
"We've discussed that a little bit, but we have not come to a conclusion about X amount of minutes or if we're going to have him," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "He's done a nice job in his rehab and he's done a nice job staying in condition when he's been injured.
"Because it's his shoulder, there were a lot of things he could do still with his legs and all that. We'll talk again and decide if he can play."
Following his first practice in nearly three weeks, Irving said he feels good.
"It felt good to finally be back out there again," Irving said. "I took contact, knocked some of the rust off. My rhythm is definitely a big thing that keeps my game going, and I've just got to get that back. That'll come back, hopefully, when I get back out there."