Unvaccinated Nets star Kyrie Irving to return as part-timer, play out-of-state games due to COVID rules: reports

Coronavirus
Kyrie Irving

FILE – Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving handles the ball during an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, in this Thursday, May 6, 2021, file photo. Unable to attend the Brooklyn Nets’ media day, Kyrie Irving asked for privacy Monday when pressed about his vaccination status and availability for home games. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Nets star Kyrie Irving, who’s been unavailable since New York imposed vaccine requirements, will return to the team as a part-time player for out-of-state games, according to reports.

ESPN and The Athletic/Stadium said Irving will practice at home with the team, which he would be eligible to do, and will play in away games.

The team made the decision to bring back Irving as their roster has been hit hard by injuries or health and safety protocols, with the rest of the dwindling depth chart left to pick up the slack on the court.

The move, though, comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the U.S. and in New York especially, in large part due to the explosive rise in the omicron variant.

The NFL moved three games because of COVID-19 outbreaks, the league announced Friday. Previously, the NFL did not plan to move any games because of coronavirus outbreaks. But recent developments with the omicron strain of COVID-19 has changed the league’s thinking.

Broadway shows have closed due to outbreaks among company members; the Rockettes canceled several Christmas shows at Radio City Music Hall Friday before scrapping the entire rest of the season.

Experts say omicron appears to be more contagious, but little else is known — and the uncertainty itself has reinstituted concerns for many Americans.

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