Kyrie Irving returns to Nets practice, expected to play vs. Cavs

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Nick Friar
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Not only was Tuesday’s practice James Harden’s first with his Brooklyn Nets teammates, it also marked the return of Kyrie Irving after he took an extended personal leave that was eventually lengthened by the NBA due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“It’s great to have Kai back in the building and back with the group,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said. “We missed him. Excited to get back out on the floor.

“Kai is working really hard mentally to put himself in a great position to perform. I’m proud of him for the effort he’s making there. Physically, we’ll see. I know he’s been doing some things, but it was a longer layoff. So we got to monitor it and see how able he is to play up and down in the short term and what’s going to get us to the long-term with him in a safe manner.”

Irving’s return to practice is also an indication the Nets guard might be ready to go for Brooklyn’s next game.

“I expect him to play tomorrow,” Nash said.

With or without Irving, the Nets will take the floor in Clevland against Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince and the rest of the Cavaliers on Wednesday.