Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant nearing returns to Nets lineup

Kyrie Irving Kevin Durant Nets
Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With two of the Brooklyn Nets’ “Big 3” sidelined, head coach Steve Nash provided some updates to confirm that the band will be back together sooner rather than later.

Kyrie Irving was forced to miss Saturday’s loss against the Philadelphia 76ers after suffering a sprained right index finger on Friday against the Toronto Raptors.

While it was originally expected that it would only be a day-to-day scenario, Nash said that Irving should be able to play on Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons.

“Kyrie is improving, it’s a matter of pain and I think he’s at a manageable level,” Nash told reports on Monday.

Irving had been brilliant since his return from undisclosed personal reasons and a mandatory quarantine after breaking NBA COVID protocols that prompted a fine.

He averaged 29.4 points and 5.4 assists in eight games before picking up that finger injury against Toronto, bringing his season average up to 27.4 points per game.

As for Durant, all signs point to him returning to the team on Friday for Saturday night’s game in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors after being forced to quarantine for seven days because he spent time maskless with a team employee that tested positive for the virus. It put the 32-year-old’s MVP campaign on hold as he’s averaging 29.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game this year.

Durant has had multiple run-ins with the virus already, having first tested positive right at the start of the pandemic back in March while rehabbing his ruptured Achilles suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals. He also missed three games in January due to the league’s health and safety protocols.

The Nets aren’t taking any chances with Durant, who luckily has not tested positive for the virus again despite that close contact with the infected team employee.

“From what I know, Kevin’s on about 90 negative [COVID] tests,” Nash joked.