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Kyrie Irving out for personal reasons, Tyler Johnson to quarantine BUT Kevin Durant may return Sunday

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Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

It was an active pre-game presser Thursday. Some good news, but mostly bad in advance of the Nets nationally televised game vs. Philly whose 7-1 record is currently the best in the NBA.

First, the team announced Kyrie Irving will miss Thursday’s game due to unexplained personal reasons. Steve Nash told the Nets media he had just learned about Irving’s status for Thursday’s game, noting he sent the Nets guard a text at the time of the news but did not hear back. The Nets head coach noted Irving’s situation as a private matter.

“I don’t know. I just found out,” Nash said. “I just sent him a message in the last half-hour and I haven’t heard back yet. I’m obviously thinking about him and hope all is well. And yeah, it’s a private matter.”

As Joe Vardon of The Athletic tweeted, a source close to Irving says he is ok but did not know when the Nets guard will return to the court for Brooklyn.

On the other hand, Nash also said Kevin Durant may play as early as Sunday against the Thunder if he continues to test negative for COVID-19, for which he tested positive back in March. Durant is currently on Day 3 of his quarantine following his contact tracing situation and will certainly miss Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“I think Kevin’s situation is that if he continues to test negative, he can play Sunday, explained Nash. “That’s all I have on that.”

“Can’t wait for Sunday to come,” Nash added.

Aside from Durant, the Nets announced Tyler Johnson is now in quarantine following contact tracing for COVID. Nash said Johnson’s situation is completely different than Durant and has tested negative for COVID. He will continue to go through protocol moving forward.

“It is separate from Kevin,” Nash said about Johnson. “Completely isolated to Kevin’s situation and he has not tested positive for COVID. He is just in a contact-tracing protocol basically and he has been testing negative. He will continue to go through that protocol and continue to test negative.”

Following the news on Irving and Johnson, the Nets will have 11 active players for Thursday’s game against the Sixers. Outside of Irving and Johnson, Nic Claxton (right knee tendinopathy), Reggie Perry (left groin soreness), and Spencer Dinwiddie (partially torn ACL, right knee) will not play.

The Nets are debuting their throwback 1991 tie-dyed uniforms and court.