The Nets are becoming whole.
The team announced Tuesday afternoon that Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kyrie Irving had all cleared health and safety protocols leaving only four rookies still out ... beginning the ramp-up process for Irving after not playing at all this season.
KD and Irving entered protocols on December 18, ten days ago, Aldridge four days earlier. The Nets had said they intended to be conservative with Aldridge who is the team’s oldest player and has had cardiac issues that caused him to retire, then ultimately return.
The rookies — Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, David Duke Jr. and Kessler Edwards — may be back soon as well with the NBA reducing quarantines from 10 days to six. The Nets may also get Joe Harris on the court again soon. Monday marked four weeks since he underwent left ankle surgery. At the time, the Nets estimated that Harris would be out four to six weeks with some optimism that his absence would be closer to four weeks than six.
The big news Tuesday, of course, is that Irving’s ramp-up has now begun. Steve Nash said Monday that he anticipated that Irving would take up to two weeks to get back into basketball shape after being cleared.
“It’s hard to say but I would say probably somewhere between a week and two weeks,” Nash said Monday re Irving’s timeline. “He’s isolating, so that kinda puts another layer to the ramp-up. It’s not like he’s been working out. I’d imagine it’s going to be closer to two weeks once he comes out of protocols.”
Of course, Nash admitted he hadn’t yet seen Irving on the court at HSS Training Center. Irving, who’s restricted to road games because he remains unvaccinated, could be ready for the Bulls game in Chicago on January 12. After that, the Nets return home for five days, then head out on the road on January 17 for four games vs. Cleveland, Washington, San Antonio and Minnesota. The NBA might want to shoe-horn the postponed Portland game into that trip or the five-game West Coast trip that begins January 29. Nash has also said that Aldridge may require a bit of a ramp-up.
The Nets have been quiet on Harris’ status but he traveled with the team to California rather than stay home and continue rehabbing. That has to be seen as a positive.
The Nets will also face decisions on extending James Ennis III and Shaq Harrison whose first 10-day hardship exception ends Tuesday. The Nets have already extended Langston Galloway and Nash has said that out of an abundance of caution Brooklyn may extend Ennis, Harrison and Wenyen Gabriel whose 10-day is up Friday.
- Nets starting to become whole as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge exit COVID protocols - Dennis Young - New York Daily News
- Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge clear health and safety protocols - Tim Bontemps - ESPN
- Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge all cleared for Nets returns - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets announce Kyrie Irving has cleared NBA’s health and safety protocols - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets’ Irving clears NBA protocols, Hawks add to COVID list - Tim Reynolds - AP
- First-place Nets even closer to full strength: ‘It’s gonna be scary hours, for real’ - Ryan Chichester - WFAN
- Brooklyn Nets Are 23-9 And Are About To Add Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge And Kyrie Irving - Adam Zagoria - Forbes Sports Money
- Kyrie Irving’s Nets return timetable after clearing protocols, revealed - John Tan - Clutch Points