Kyrie Irving cleared for next rehab step

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says freshman point guard Kyrie Irving has been cleared for "a few basketball-related activities" as he recovers from a toe injury that has sidelined him most of the season.

But the Hall of Fame coach said Friday that he still doesn't expect Irving to return this season.

Irving met with a doctor in Charlotte and was cleared for the next step in his rehabilitation, though Krzyzewski says it wouldn't be at the normal pace to prepare him to return to the lineup for the fourth-ranked Blue Devils. He says Duke has "a responsibility that ... we take care of his future."

Irving has been out since injuring his right big toe in a December win against Butler. He was averaging 17 points and five assists while starting the first eight games.