The Cleveland Cavaliers knew before the NBA Finals series began that they faced a tough challenge if they were to overcome the Golden State Warriors.
Going down 1-0 and seeing star point guard Kyrie Irving hobble back to the locker room on Thursday night, the Ohio franchise's task got that little bit harder.
And now, with the true severity of Kyrie Irving's injury having been confirmed today, there will be some who feel their chances of winning the NBA title are all but gone.
As reported by ESPN, MRI test results have revealed Irving suffered a fractured kneecap in overtime of Game One.
The injury will require season-ending surgery and obviously rules him out for the remainder of the Finals series.
The timeframe for the All-Star's return has been put at between three and four months and he is likely to go under the knife before the weekend is out, per reports.
In his own words
Having battled tendinitis in his left knee for large chunks of the season this latest setback is a huge blow not only to the Cavaliers' immediate ambitions, but for Irving himself.
He took to social media in the aftermath of the announcement to speak directly to the fans:
With Irving now joining the likes of Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao on the sidelines, Cleveland now face an uphill battle to beat out the Warriors in the coming days.
Even greater responsibility now lies with LeBron James as the franchise looks to win their first ever NBA title. Unfortunately for Cleveland and Lebron, with his supporting cast hugely depleted, Golden State know all to well that if they can control his game the series may be all but over.
NBA fans: Do Cleveland stand any chance now that Kyrie Irving is out? Have your say in the comments below...
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