Nets’ Kyrie Irving enters NBA’s Covid-19 protocols day after return announced

Brooklyn Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have entered into the league’s Covid-19 health and safety protocols, multiple media outlets reported on Saturday.

Seven-time All-Star Irving has not suited up for the team yet this season because he refuses to take the Covid-19 vaccine, which is required to enter the Nets’ Barclays Center.

On Friday, the team said it would welcome back Irving for games and practices in which he is eligible after having initially determined that he wouldn’t play with them at all until he could play in both home and road games.

Members of New York’s pro and college teams must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to be able to play in public arenas. Irving refused to get vaccinated and hasn’t practiced with the Nets since October.

Durant has been putting together an MVP-caliber season, averaging 29.7 points per game and shooting 52.3% from the field for the Eastern Conference-leading Nets.

Durant scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Thursday’s 114-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in a game for which the team was without seven players due to the health and safety protocols.

The NBA, NFL and NHL have all seen games postponed due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak.

The NBA rolled out tighter Covid-19 protocols amid a sudden wave of Covid-19 cases and, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Friday, will increase testing from 26 December to 8 January and return to mask usage in many situations until agreed otherwise by the league and union representing its players.