Coach K says Irving out for 'long time'

Kyrie Irving's freak toe injury changed the landscape of college hoops. You've heard this dichotomy plenty of times already, but just to reiterate: With Irving, the Blue Devils are the best team in the country. Without him, they're still very good, and still capable of winning a national title, but they're not the clear consensus favorite they were in their Irving-led dismantlings of Kansas State and Michigan State earlier this season.

It's safe to say, then, that Duke fans -- and, really, college hoops fans at large -- will be looking for indications about Irving's toe until he is either back in uniform or declared out for the season. Coach K's latest information barely counts as news, but it's an indication all the same. From the Charlotte Observer:

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Wednesday during his XM Radio show that freshman point guard Kyrie Irving will be out "a long time." Krzyzewski has said there is a chance Irving will miss the entire season, although he didn't elaborate during his radio show on what "a long time" meant. Krzyzewski said during his radio show, "Basketball and Beyond with Coach K," that specialists are meeting to plan Irving's rehabilitation and recovery.

What does that mean? It's hard to say, but if you had to guess -- and it seems as though even Coach K is guessing at this point -- Irving's recovery curve will look more like "out for the season" than "out for a month." Those were the bookends of the timeframe given by Duke's staff at the time of the injury. Since then, the updates have been vague. They've also, like this one, been discouraging.

Does that mean Irving's season is over? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's certainly doesn't sound good, does it?