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Irving may play for Duke on Friday

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DURHAM - Freshman point guard Kyrie Irving might play Friday in Duke's NCAA tournament opener, coach Mike Krzyzewski said today.

"There is a chance that he would play, but the decision won't be made for a few days," Krzyzewski said during his on-campus news conference to preview Duke's NCAA tournament opener.

Irving, who is recovering from an injury to his right big toe, practiced some with the team today. No. 1 seed Duke (30-4) meets No. 16 seed Hampton at about 3:15 p.m. Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.

Krzyzewski said Irving will not start and would only play a few minutes at a time if he gets on the court. The coach said Irving's toe is being re-evaluated after tonight's practice, and expects to know a lot more about Irving's status by the time Duke holds its open practice session Thursday afternoon in Charlotte.

Irving's return to the team would be a smooth transition, Krzyzewski said, because he has remained an enthusiastic member of the team even though he has missed the last 26 games because of the injury.

His teammates were enthusiastic about the prospect of Irving returning.

"Personally, I don't think he's missed a beat," senior forward Kyle Singler said after practice. "He's done a great job rehabbing. He's a little bit out of shape, but that's to be expected."

Irving injured his toe when it bent backward on Dec. 4 during a game against Butler. His foot was kept in a cast while damaged tissue between the sesamoid bones in his toe healed.

After Duke's win Sunday over North Carolina in the ACC tournament final, Irving told reporters for the first time that there was a chance he would return. Krzyzewski had repeatedly said he wasn't counting on getting Irving back.

"I'm going day by day," Krzyzewski said today, "because I never expected him to be back where he is today."




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From what I am hearing

He wants to play right now as well as in the recent past, but his family doesn't want him to. He's outy 5000 if there is no lockout and he still may not be back even if there is.

I'm riding them to b2b titles. All about my pockets.

I had a feeling he wasn't

I had a feeling he wasn't going to sit out the entire year. Well if he is going to come back then in bits and pieces during the first round game will be the perfect time. It's definitely going to make things a little more interesting if he comes back even if it is for a few minutes at a time.

just curious

Interested in your thoughts on if he plays now, does that have any bearing on whether he comes back next year or not?

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About the blogger

Ken Tysiac has covered the ACC for The Charlotte Observer since 2003, and spent the previous eight years covering Clemson for the Anderson Independent-Mail and then The State in South Carolina. He grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.