Pregame Post-Ups: Horford In, Irving Out as C's Host Raptors

Sunday, Nov. 12 - Raptors at Celtics

Pregame – Horford In, Irving Out as Celtics Host Raptors

BOSTON – Kyrie Irving, who left Friday night’s game after fracturing a bone in his face, will not play Sunday afternoon when the Boston Celtics host the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden.

Irving was inadvertently struck by Aron Baynes’ elbow less than two minutes into Friday’s contest against the Charlotte Hornets, and left the court while holding a bloody towel to his face.

The good news is that the All-Star point guard shouldn’t be out for long.

“He went and visited a face specialist today and I think was maybe fitted for a mask,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said shortly ahead of Sunday’s tip-off. “The good news is, thus far, that’s the only point of pain in his face, or head, or neck, or anything else. He hasn’t been diagnosed with a concussion, so we’ll see how the doctor visit goes today and how everything else goes, and we’ll keep monitoring him for symptoms of that. But we’re hopeful to have him back sooner rather than later.”

Al Horford, who also suffered a head injury last week, will return to the lineup tonight. Horford was injured Monday night when Atlanta Hawks forward Kent Bazemore hit him in the head while trying to block his shot attempt at the rim.

Boston’s big man entered concussion protocol Wednesday and missed that night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as Friday’s game against the Hornets. Sunday, he was finally cleared to play.

"Al feels good," said Stevens, who added that Horford will face no minutes restriction upon his return.

Horford will start alongside Aron Baynes in the frontcourt. Marcus Smart will start in Irving’s place, alongside Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, as the Celtics go for their 12th straight win.

- Taylor C. Snow