Kyrie Irving will be returning to the Brooklyn Nets as a part-time player. After sitting out the season because of his decision to not get vaccinated, Kyrie Irving has been brought back to the team after a COVID-19 outbreak has left the hamstrung and in need of their entire roster.
But as soon as Irving returned, he predictably tested positive for COVID-19 and had to enter the league's health and safety protocols. One Nets' executive was actually glad that Irving's positive result would mean that those who supported him would learn their lesson and understand the ramifications of not getting the vaccine.
Regardless of the situation, there have been questions about when Irving could potentially return. Given how long he hasn't played, it isn't just as simple as Irving putting on his shoes and uniform and playing for the Nets. He needs to be re-introduced into the team's rotations.
Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash recently gave an update as to when fans can expect to see the former All-Star back on the court for the Nets. He suggested that it could be at least two weeks after Irving is cleared from the league's health and safety protocols before Irving can begin ramping up and eventually be brought back into the team's rotation.
“It's hard to say, but I would say probably somewhere between a week and two weeks. He’s obviously been isolating so that kind of puts another layer to the ramp-up. It’s not like he’s been working out so probably I’d imagine it’s going to be closer to two weeks once he comes out of protocols. We’ll just have to see how it goes, though, because we have to evaluate him from a physical and performance standpoint and a basketball standpoint as well.”
NBA insider Shams Charania has speculated that Irving could be back sometime in January. And given the timing of Nash's comments, this timeline could be realistic. Irving will need time with the team in order to get reacquainted with the set plays and general tactics of the team.
Not everyone is thrilled about the decision to bring Irving back. In fact, NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith blasted the Nets, saying that it was a shameful decision from their end to let Kyrie play again. But as it appears, it doesn't really look like the Nets had much of a choice.