Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving will not play in Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards because of a knee injury. 

The Celtics will be without Irving, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis and Jaylen Brown for the contest due to injury. Al Horford is also considered questionable. 

With the Celtics battling the Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Irving’s absence creates a big problem for head coach Brad Stevens. 

In his first season with Boston, Irving leads the team with 24.8 points and 5.1 assists per game. He’s also shooting a career-high 49 percent from the field. 

Irving has been healthy for most of the season but the knee injury is cropping up at a bad time. 

The Celtics have succeeded this season despite some notable injuries. Gordon Hayward only played five minutes in the first game before a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia ended his season. 

Irving is so essential to Boston’s offense that his absence creates a void that Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier will have to try to fill at point guard. 

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