After registering a rather healthy regular season, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers may enter the playoffs with a lingering issue. During Friday’s disappointing loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Irving briefly left the game in the third quarter due to a sore knee, the same knee that was surgically repaired.

Kyrie Irving’s take

How concerned should the Cavaliers be? Irving told reporters that, “Thursday was a terrible day for me and my knee,” and that “it (bleeping) flared up again” during Friday’s game. A sore knee never sounds good because it usually leads to something more serious.

With the knee flaring up again, Irving was asked if he may need to rest the last few games of the season, and he said, “I don’t know.”

“I’m doing everything possible to take care of my body, I’ve got a clear conscience about that,” Irving also said about his knee soreness. “Also understand that sometimes it’s gonna hurt. And I gotta be able to deal with it. “I mean it’s never easy, even the year after, just to realize that you have plates and screws in your knee and stuff like that,” Irving continued. It doesn’t sound too promising for Irving and the Cavaliers.

Head coach Tyronn Lue recently said that he won’t rest his star players until the team clinches the top spot in the East, but he is now undecided.

“I don’t know,” Lue said about resting his stars. “I’ve got to see how they feel.” It would be ideal to at least allow Irving to rest because they will need him 100 percent healthy during the playoffs.

What this means for Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers could be in serious trouble if Irving is not 100 percent during the playoffs.

We all remember what happened during the 2015 post-season when Irving kept battling a sore knee and eventually sat out during the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors because he needed surgery. The Cavs ultimately lost in the 2015 Finals because the team was left short-handed. From the looks of it, this could unfortunately lead to the same thing.

Irving sounded very frustrated during his post-game interview, which is not a good sign.

Right now the Cavaliers are working to clinch the number one seed over the Boston Celtics but may have to do it without Irving, which will force James to play heavy minutes. It has been an unfortunate turn of events for Cleveland. After demolishing the Celtics a few nights ago, it looked like they were ready to take full control of the top spot. After an embarrassing loss to Atlanta, who rested its starters, the Cavs are looking miserable again, especially since Irving is hurt.