Irving has not received the coronavirus vaccine and has been sitting out the season, a decision originally made by the team. He does not intend to get vaccinated, per reports, and will therefore be ineligible to play in games in Brooklyn and some other selected cities.
“After discussions with our coaches, players and staff, the organization has decided to have Kyrie Irving re-join the team for games and practices in which he is eligible to participate,” Marks’ statement read. “We arrived at this decision with the full support of our players and after careful consideration of our current circumstances, including players missing games due to injuries and health and safety protocols.
“We believe that the addition of Kyrie will not only make us a better team but allow us to more optimally balance the physical demand on the entire roster. We look forward to Kyrie’s return to the lineup, as well as getting our entire roster back together on the court.”
As relayed by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Irving’s return to game action could take a little time. He still will need to pass the usual series of COVID tests before being cleared to return to team workouts. Once that happens, he presumably will need to work himself back into game shape.
The Nets reached the decision to allow Irving to return after a series of positive tests among vaccinated players depleted the roster.
“It remains to be seen what the long-term plan for Irving is,” wrote Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors. “While having him available for about half the Nets’ games should help provide a boost in the short term, it’s hard to imagine the team will be happy only having him available on the road once the playoffs arrive. That’s still a few months away though, so the two sides have some time to figure things out.”