Kyrie Irving returns to action for Nets’ road games

2021-12-18T00:32:53+00:00 2021-12-18T01:25:11+00:00.

Aris Barkas

18/Dec/21 00:32

The Nets decided to make a step back and include unvaccinated Irving on their roster

By Eurohoops team/

The Brooklyn Nets are bringing back All-Star guard Kyrie Irving as a part-time player for games outside of New York, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Brooklyn’s woes, including injuries, players lost to health and safety protocols and an inordinate minutes load on their superstar players led the team to this move, according to the report.

The following statement has been released by Nets GM Sean Marks:

“After discussions with our coaches, players and staff, the organization has decided to have Kyrie Irving re-join the team for games and practices in which he is eligible to participate. We arrived at this decision with the full support of our players and after careful consideration of our current circumstances, including players missing games due to injuries and health and safety protocols. We believe that the addition of Kyrie will not only make us a better team but allow us to more optimally balance the physical demand on the entire roster. We look forward to Kyrie’s return to the lineup, as well as getting our entire roster back together on the court.”

So far, Irving has been remaining unvaccinated and unable to play home games, but the turbulence of the ongoing NBA season has caused the organization to reconsider its preseason decision to fully sideline him.

Government rules allow Irving to practice at the home facility, and the Nets agreed with Irving on a plan that would allow him to start ramping back up for a return to play.

Irving has to test negative on five successive days before he can rejoin the team. Once he returns, he will have to test every day as an unvaccinated player.

The Nets’ next road game is Dec. 23 in Portland, followed by a Christmas Day game at the Los Angeles Lakers and a Dec. 27 game at the LA Clippers. That stretch is followed by three more home games.

In all, Brooklyn (21-8) has 26 more games at home and 27 on the road. However, Irving is ineligible to play in three of the road games, as two are against the Knicks, for whom the same vaccine mandate is in place, and one is against the Toronto Raptors. Travel for unvaccinated players across the border into Canada will be prohibited starting in January.