Kyrie Irving could soon be making his first season debut with the Brooklyn Nets.
According to reports from Shams Al Shaaraniya of The Athletic and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the franchise changed its stance on Irving being a part-time participant, allowing the seven-time All-Star team to begin the process of joining the team.
MORE: Why Nets are optimistic they will play Kerry this season
According to New York City’s guidelines for people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, Irving, who has not been vaccinated, cannot play at games held in New York but can train at the team’s facility and be a full participant in road games.
Sources: Kyrie Irving will be playing at road games and training at home with the Brooklyn Nets. He is expected to train with the team in the coming days. https://t.co/QilgYMM4Lo
Shams Charania December 17, 2021
Following initial reports, Nets General Manager Sean Marks released a statement regarding Irving’s return.
Why did the nets allow the return of Keri Irving?
At the start of the 2021-22 season, Marks released a statement regarding Irving’s availability, saying, “We have determined that Kyrie Irving will not play or train with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant.”
While Marks and the organization expressed their respect and support for Irving’s individual right to choose, they remained firm in their position that they would not allow any team to participate part-time.
However, in mid-December, it was reported that Irving was increasingly optimistic about a return to play, as the team was feeling his absence.
According to Lugnarowski, a recent string of injuries and the COVID outbreak in the net have exacerbated the team’s need for Irving, prompting the franchise to change tack in allowing the super goalkeeper to participate on a full-time basis.
As a byproduct of not having the bodies available, the team has had to take advantage of the NBA hardship exemption and Kevin Durant is second in the league in minutes per game.
Irving’s return increases Brooklyn’s turnover and decreases her MVP usage.
When can Kyrie Irving make his season debut?
It may take some time.
According to Lugnarowski, Irving will have to undergo a series of COVID tests before he can join the Teaam. Irving, who has not been with the team since October, will likely be put on a return-to-play conditioning program in order to ramp up his activity.
Kyrie Irving has to test negative on five consecutive days before he can join the squad. Once he returns, he will have to be tested every day as an invulnerable player. https://t.co/L1RwG8GORQ
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 17, 2021
As it stands, 28 of the Nets 53’s remaining regular season games will be played in New York City, which means Irving could play in a maximum of 25 games this season.
Looking at the process of Irving returning to play, the realistic figure is somewhere like a teenage boy.
Network schedule 2021-22
|December 18||against. Orlando||7:30 PM||–|
|December 19||vs nuggets||7:30 PM||NBA TV|
|December 21||vs processors||7:30 PM||TNT|
|December 23||In Trail Blazers||10:00 pm||–|
|December 25||in the Lakers||20:00||ABC / ESPN|
|December 27||in clippers||10:30 pm||NBA TV|
|December 30||vs 76ers||7:00 pm||NBA TV|
|January 1||vs clippers||7:30 PM||–|
|January 3||against the Grizzlies||7:30 PM||NBA TV|
|January 5||in Pacers||7:30 PM||NBA TV|