Kyrie Irving has returned to the fold at Brooklyn Nets and is set to feature against the Cavaliers on Wednesday after taking a leave of absence because he just “needed a pause.”
Irving featured in the practice session on Tuesday with the team and could play on Wednesday in Cleveland after missing the last seven games.
The Nets point guard missed five games while away from the team and two more while regaining his conditioning after he was eligible to return.
Irving, however, has yet to give a clear reason for his absence but said he had a lot of family and personal stuff going on.
“I’m a hometown kid so things hit a little different when family and personal stuff going on, and that’s up to me to handle that as a man”, Irving said.
“But yeah, I just take full accountability for my absence with the guys and just had a conversation with each one of them and we move on.”
Before the 2020-21 NBA season kicked off, Irving who was seen in a video posted on social media during his absence at an indoor family party while not wearing a mask was fined $50,000 for violating the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
He also lost nearly $900,000 of his $33.5m salary because two of the games he missed were during a mandated quarantine period.
Irving claims he is happy to be back with the team, which acquired James Harden during his absence.
Irving said: “We got some great pieces and we just move on, and I let my actions and my game speak for itself like I planned on doing – just needed a pause.”