NBA News Wire

Irving fine, should start vs. Mexico

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Cleveland Cavaliers point guard is sore but plans to play Saturday when Team USA takes on Mexico in FIBA World Cup play in Barcelona.

Irving was injured Thursday during Team USA’s 95-71 win over Ukraine in FIBA World Cup group play at Bilbao, Spain.

With about a minute to go in the game, Irving was driving to the basket when he had his shot blocked and he fell to the ground hard. He clutched his back as he was helped to the locker room by a trainer.

Irving told reporters on Friday he’s ready to go as the single-elimination round gets underway.

“I’m all right. It was a little bit of a concern when it happened,” he said. “I was a little bit worried. It was a tough fall on my back, just a light bruise that I took in the fourth quarter.

“But it’s part of the game. … I’m a little bit more sore than I thought I would be, but like I said it was just a tough fall that I took and I’m just glad I’m OK.”

USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said Irving, who has been one of the Americans’ most consistent players (9.8 points, 3.8 assists and 23 minutes per game) will not have any restrictions. Krzyzewski did say Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose should see some action.