Kyrie Irving removed from game after taking violent elbow to the face (Video)

The Brooklyn Nets cannot afford an injury to Kyrie Irving.

Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant have formed an excellent trifecta so far this season, at least when all are healthy. That’s been the only caveat thus far, as this Nets team aims to prepare for a playoff run.

On Tuesday night against the Chicago Bulls, Irving took a violent elbow to the face from a Bulls defender. Obviously, the elbow was inadvertent, but it’s nonetheless significant to the Nets playoff chances.

Per the Nets, Irving was removed from the game with a facial contusion and will not return.

Brooklyn Nets need Kyrie Irving healthy for the playoffs

The Nets have plenty of competition out East, as the Philadelphia 76ers remain a consistent threat, and the Milwaukee Bucks are surging as we get closer to the postseason. Milwaukee in particular has had success against Brooklyn of late, winning back-to-back games against the Nets as recently as last week.

Irving is incredibly tough, and still in search of his first title out on his own, as in not under the wing of one LeBron James. Should all three of Brooklyn’s ‘Big 3’ remain healthy, it’s tough to see any team in the East getting in their way on the path to the Finals. If Irving is forced to miss some time, that window opens just a bit.

We’ll have more on Irving’s injury status as it becomes available.

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