Nets’ Kyrie Irving has surgery for right shoulder injury

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Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving grabs his leg after he was injured during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving underwent surgery Tuesday to repair the injured right shoulder that ended his first season with the Brooklyn Nets after just 20 games.

The Nets said the procedure to relieve the impingement was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III at the Hospital for Special Surgery. The team said Irving is expected to make a full recovery.

Irving began having trouble with the shoulder as he worked to get back in shape after another injury in the preseason. The pain worsened in November, early in the regular season, and he missed 26 games before returning in January.

Irving got a cortisone shot on Dec. 24 but acknowledged that surgery still might be necessary. The decision to have it was reached last month on the night the Nets returned from the All-Star break.

He finished with averages of 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds, and became the first player in franchise history to have multiple 50-point games in a season. He also missed time because of a sprained right knee.

Irving signed with Brooklyn in July along with Kevin Durant, who is expected to miss the entire season while recovering from surgery to repair his Achilles tendon.

The Nets are trying to hang onto a playoff spot without them, sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at 26-33 after four straight losses.

Brooklyn plays Tuesday night in Boston, where Irving spent the last two seasons. He missed both visits this season because of the shoulder injury.

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