BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Kyrie Irving practiced following a hard fall a day earlier and is ready to play Saturday when the U.S. faces Mexico in the round of 16 at the Basketball World Cup.
“He went through the whole workout. He was a little bit sore to begin with, but he worked his soreness out,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said Friday. “He’s ready to go, 100 percent.”
Irving landed on his back with a loud thud in the final minutes of a 95-71 victory over Ukraine on Thursday, the Americans’ last game of the group stage at Bilbao. The Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star said he was a little wary when it happened.
“I mean it was a tough fall, obviously,” Irving said Friday. “I just lost my footing. It could happen any time in a game. But, like I said, it’s just a minor bruise but I’m ready to go.”
He was able to walk off the court, holding his lower back. Shortly afterward, he wrote on his Twitter feed that he was fine.
“It was a scare and obviously we have a little bit more followers than we had before with the Cavs,” Irving said. “So it was a level of concern, but more or less for my family and my friends, letting them know I was OK. I just wanted to make sure everybody knew I was OK.”
Irving has started all five games and is averaging 9.8 points.