Brad Stevens "surprised" & "excited" about rate of Kyrie's recovery

Let me pour a little cold water on this before we even get started - this is not Kyrie Irving taking Paul Pierce's famed "wheelchair game" to another level.

Kyrie Irving is still hurt, and will still take the estimated four to five months to recover - but when he appeared without crutches at TD Garden for Game One vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, it naturally created quite a stir. Said Coach Brad Stevens (per Boston Celtics' embedded reporter Taylor Snow):

"The first time I saw him, when I saw him the other day he was walking around, I was surprised too ... I had just got done literally 10 minutes ago talking to our training staff and the people who are working most closely with him, and they feel great about his early [gains] a week in, or whatever it is ...That’s exciting, that’s encouraging. Again, he’s going to make a full recovery. Now that the screws are out and now that you see his early progress, it is very good."

Don't expect any surprise appearances by Irving on the Celtics' bench, however - unless it involves streetclothes in a supporting role. And such a role is not an unappreciated one, even if the positive effects are mostly subjective.

If it helps his teammates knowing Kyrie's there, who am I to doubt it? Said big man Greg Monroe (per Snow): "No matter if you are playing or not, it is about camaraderie ... when you see your teammates cheering for you, it gives me extra energy and I am pretty sure it has that effect on other people also." That sentiment was echoed by point god Terry Rozier, too (per Snow): 

"He made me feel comfortable ... He’s a great guy, and whether it’s basketball talk, whether it’s joking around, he’s great at engaging with guys. He’s a great leader, and I know for a fact, even if I hadn’t reached out to him, I’ve got him in my ear. I’ve got him in my corner."

Whatever it takes, Scary Terry. Whatever it takes.

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Image: Charles Krupa/AP
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