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Cavs PG Irving to play through flu symptoms

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving says he will play against Memphis despite having flu-like symptoms earlier in the day.

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Irving missed the team's morning shootaround and was listed as doubtful for Friday's game. A flu bug has coursed its way through Cleveland's team and also sickened family members of players and coaches. However, Irving arrived at Quicken Loans Arena about 90 minutes before tipoff and told reporters he was going to play.

Irving said he began filling ill Thursday night and spent most of Friday resting.

``I went to the doctor and got myself checked out,'' he said. ``I'm here. About 13 hours of sleep will definitely help you.''

Irving was recently held out of three games to rest a hyperextended right knee, and following Wednesday's win over Utah, the 20-year-old said the injury was still bothering him. Those comments prompted coach Byron Scott to say he would consider shutting down Irving again, rather than risk him making it worse.

However, after speaking with Irving and trainer Max Benton, Scott isn't as worried.

``I don't think the knee is that big of an issue,'' said Scott.

Irving attempted to diffuse any apparent controversy about the status of his knee and thought the situation regarding his comments on Wednesday was a bit overblown.

``I'm fine,'' he said. ``I'm not getting shut down. Coach Scott is not in contemplation of shutting me down. It's funny what the Internet can do for people.''

This virulent flu bug has bitten the Cavs hard.

Rookies Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller as well as Daniel Gibson and team trainer Max Benton all missed games earlier this week with the stomach virus. Waiters was in Friday's starting lineup and Scott said Gibson was available.

Zeller returned on Wednesday after being sick and losing five pounds. He and Waiters became so ill last weekend that they had to be taken to the hospital.

Scott has been leery of making any unnecessary contact with his players.

``I'm not touching their hands right now,'' he said. ``We're doing a lot of knuckles stuff. I'm trying to stay away from them as much as possible. Hopefully, this thing will be over today or tonight. It's made its way through our team.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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