WALTHAM, Mass. -- All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving did not attend Boston's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals while recovering from nasal surgery, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Monday after the team's exit interviews.
"Kyrie had a deviated septum, had some surgery on that, and so I don't think he wanted to be seen," said Ainge, who turned playful while noting, "He's a really good-looking guy. He can't ruin his movie career."
Irving's agent, Jeff Wechsler, told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan that the point guard wanted to attend the game but couldn't fly because of the surgery.
"It was a residual from the facial fracture he had earlier in the season," Wechsler said, referring to the injury Irving suffered in November. "He had the knee surgery, and now he's taken care of this sinus surgery, so he will be all set going forward."
Irving had not played in the Celtics' run to the Eastern Conference finals after undergoing knee surgeries in March and April to remove screws from his left patella. The team indicated at the time that he was expected to need four to five months to recover.
Boston's season ended with an 87-79 loss to Cleveland in Game 7 on Sunday night.
Both Irving and fellow All-Star Gordon Hayward were not spotted at various home games throughout Boston's postseason run, allowing them to maximize their rehab time. Irving had been working out in Boston early in the playoffs, and Hayward has spent much of the past month working with a running specialist in his native Indiana.
Ainge said the Celtics are hopeful that Hayward, who dislocated his ankle during the season opener, will resume full basketball activities this summer.
"Gordon is progressing well," Ainge said. "He's on the court now, finally doing a little bit of competition, like just one-on-one. And he'll progress along that line slowly. We think that he'll be playing basketball in the next couple months."
Ainge and many of the Celtics players admitted it had to be hard for Irving and Hayward to watch Boston's playoff run without being able to help.
"I don't think any of us can really understand," Ainge said. "That never really happened to me as a player, so I'm not sure I understand, but I could see it in their eyes all year when Gordon was out. It hurts to not be able to play, especially when the team was doing so well, and same thing with Kyrie.
"Those guys would give anything to be out there and play. I'm really excited about their motivation. ... I think they're going to come back in great condition and great shape next year."
Ainge scoffed when told that some fans have wondered whether the Celtics should move one of their All-Stars after all the success they enjoyed without them.
"I get a kick out of the fact that, everywhere I go, people don't think we need Kyrie or need Gordon Hayward," Ainge said. "I have a much longer memory and remember how great those guys were and what an effort it took us to get them. I also remember how great they are and how young they are still.
"So we need Gordon and Kyrie, absolutely need them. If this playoff run and all the series of the playoffs didn't show that, then I don't know what does. We were able to win some games and we were able to fight through some tough battles, but we're much, much better with Kyrie and Gordon."