Kyrie Irving of the Nets acknowledges the fans prior to Game...

Kyrie Irving of the Nets acknowledges the fans prior to Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs against the Bucks at Barclays Center on June 5. Credit: Steven Ryan

According to coach Steve Nash, it sounds as though Kyrie Irving will not suit up until the Nets' game in Chicago on Jan. 12.

Irving originally was not welcome to join the Nets because he is not in compliance with New York City’s vaccine mandate, but the organization relented and welcomed him back as a part-time player in road games on Dec. 17.

Irving entered NBA health and safety protocols the very next day after testing positive for COVID-19, so his return was delayed. The Nets will play in Indianapolis on Jan. 5, but it doesn’t sound as though Irving will be available until the next road game Jan. 12 in Chicago.

"It's hard to say, but I would say probably somewhere between a week and two weeks," Nash said on Monday. "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."

Aldridge still out

LaMarcus Aldridge has been in health and safety protocols for more than the usual 10-day quarantine. "I don't even know what the latest technicality is," Nash said, "but I know he's not joining us today. But he should be ready to rejoin the group when we get back."

The Nets' next game is Thursday at Barclays Center against Philadelphia.

Regarding the four players the Nets signed to 10-day contracts, Nash said, "We'd definitely consider re-signing them just because everything is so in flux right now. I think maybe we don't keep them all, but there's a good chance we keep two or three."

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