Kyrie Irving has yet to play in a game this season due to his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19. That is slated to change in the coming days, though, as a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic indicates that the Brooklyn Nets’ standout guard will suit up for Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is expected to make his season debut Wednesday on the road against the Indiana Pacers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. After missing the Nets’ first 35 games of the season, Irving has targeted Wednesday for his return.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 3, 2022
While Irving is still not vaccinated and is therefore unable to play in home games due to New York City’s vaccine mandate, he has been eligible all season long to be a part-time player whenever the Nets go on the road. Until recently, the team was not interested in this arrangement, deciding that it’d be best for Irving to stay home.
But recently, as the team has been struck by a wave of injuries and players in COVID protocols, Brooklyn reversed course and opened the door for Irving to play in road games, which he accepted. The interesting thing is that, save for Joe Harris (who is out for an extended period due to ankle surgery) and LaMarcus Aldridge (who is day-to-day), the Nets currently do not have any players who are either injured or in the league’s COVID protocols.
Brooklyn sits 23-11 on the season, which is good for first place in the Atlantic Division and puts them one game back of the Chicago Bulls for the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference. Irving will not be eligible to play another game for a week, as the Nets follow up their trip to Indianapolis with back-to-back home games before heading to Chicago on Jan. 12.