Nets’ Kyrie Irving officially returning vs. Hawks
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— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 12, 2020
Irving has not played since Nov. 14 due to a troublesome shoulder injury. He averaged 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds through his first 11 appearances.
Kyrie Irving’s return confirms Saturday’s report that he was targeting a return against the Hawks, just a few days after he instituted a “self-imposed deadline” for his return to action.
On Thursday, Irving said that he had assigned a self-imposed deadline of one week for his return.
“Hopefully I get some game reps in addition to practice probably in the next week or so,” he said. “It could be less than that, but I’ll give myself a week.”
Irving was able to fully participate in practice for the first time Thursday morning, including working through 5-on-5 contact drills. Coach Kenny Atkinson said Irving played with both the starting group and the second unit.
Irving said a week and a half ago that he began to do 2-on-2 work with coaches and has slowly ramped up his workload. Irving said he has no limitations “other than just keeping my shoulder maintenance program going before I get on the floor.”
Apparently, Kyrie Irving feels his shoulder is in good enough shape after going through full contact drills.
The Nets actually went 9-3 in their first 12 games without Kyrie in the lineup, but things turned south in a hurry. Brooklyn went just 4-10 over the course of their next 14 games, falling back to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Kyrie Irving will look to infuse some energy as he makes his long-awaited return on Sunday. This should be a big boost after it recently looked like he might not even return this season.