According to Nets coach Steve Nash, it sounds as if Kyrie Irving will not suit up until their game in Chicago on Jan. 12. Irving had not been 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 play a road game Jan. 5 at Indianapolis, but it doesn’t sound as if 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 week," 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 spends extra time in protocols
Veteran LaMarcus Aldridge has been in health & 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."
That means Aldridge won’t return before Dec. 28 when the Nets most likely will not practice. Their next game is Dec. 30 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."