The Brooklyn Nets are on the verge of bringing back All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to play in road games, according to multiple reports.
Irving hasn’t played this season due to his strong stance on remaining unvaccinated, which made him unavailable for roughly half the team’s games.
The 29-year-old isn’t allowed to play in home games due to New York City mandates that require players to be vaccinated.
Shortly before the season started, the Nets opted against having Irving be a part-time player.
However, there now seems to be a shift in thinking from club management.
“If we get the gift of his return, we’ll be ecstatic, but we can’t count on it,” Nets coach Steve Nash said of Irving’s potential return earlier this week. “We can’t wait for him. We have to get to work, and get better, and our group’s been awesome this year.”
Word of a possible return comes at a time in which star forward Kevin Durant (ankle) is out for Saturday’s road game against the Boston Celtics, leaving the team even more shorthanded.
Star guard James Harden also is out as one of seven Brooklyn players listed in COVID-19 protocols. Veteran forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap are among the other players.
Overall, Brooklyn lists 11 players as out on its injury report.
If Irving returns, he will be required to undergo daily testing.
Irving, a seven-time All-Star, played in 54 regular-season games for the Nets last season and averaged 26.9 points, 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds.
In 582 career games (all starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2011-17), Boston Celtics (2017-19) and Nets, he has averages of 22.8 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds.
–Field Level Media