Ainge: Celtics being cautious with Irving

Kyrie Irving has reportedly told Celtics officials he is committed to the team long-term.

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is likely to miss the next several games due to left knee soreness, with general manager Danny Ainge saying the team will be cautious with their All-Star floor general.

Irving has been playing with pain in his knee all season but it recently flared up. Ainge says he thinks Irving is “going to be fine” moving forward this season and that some time off will be good for the explosive scorer.

“Kyrie’s knee has bothered him and we’re being very careful,” Ainge told the Boston Globe. “What we don’t want to do is rush Kyrie back simply because we don’t have Marcus [Smart] and Jaylen [Brown]. We’ll do what’s best for Kyrie in spite of what’s happening to everybody else.”

The Celtics are short-handed right now. Marcus Smart could miss the rest of the season with a torn tendon in his right thumb, Jaylen Brown is out with a concussion and center Daniel Theis was lost for the season Monday because of left knee surgery.

Boston’s depth will be tested during this stretch and Ainge is excited to see how it plays out.

“I’ve seen many times where players that were not thought very highly of get an opportunity and make a name for themselves,” Ainge said. “So over these next couple weeks, there will be some guys that have those opportunities. We’ve seen players throughout the years that have responded, so this is a chance for some of our players to step up and see how much they can contribute to winning.”

In 6o games this season, Irving is averaging 24.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists.