Kyrie Irving returns to practice as coach Steve Nash acknowledges Brooklyn Nets will face games without him

Kyrie Irving practiced Sunday again, but the Brooklyn Nets seem to be coming to terms with the fact that their starting point guard won't play in any home games for at least the next few years.
Although Irving's availability to home games could change due to New York City COVID-19 protocols, Nets coach Steve Nash stated that he is certain the team will still have to play games without Irving.

After Irving had practiced in Brooklyn, Nash said to reporters that he was not allowed to play in home games. "We will have to play without him this season. It all depends on where, when and how much.

New York City's COVID-19 vaccination mandate requires that anyone entering indoor gyms must have proof of at minimum one COVID-19 shot. This includes Madison Square Garden, home to the Knicks, and Barclays Center.

Sources confirmed to ESPN's Tim Bontemps Friday that Irving would be permitted to practice at the HSS Training Center. This was after Brooklyn determined that Irving's practice facility is not an indoor gym but a private office building.

Reporters Sunday were told by Nash that "We are just beginning to navigate this." "We are here because Friday brought a new rule. We try to see the bigger picture. In the near future, I don't think we have many answers right now.

Nash added that "I think at the moment we assume he won't be available for home matches, but things can change." "Who knows what the future holds?" There could be changes to the city ordinances. There are many things that could go wrong. We are trying to be flexible and open-minded, as information is constantly coming in at a rapid pace. We discovered Friday that he could return to the building. Things are changing. This is the first time anyone has ever been through it, and we are still trying to figure out how to get out of it.

Irving was unable to participate in the media day at Barclays Center Sept. 27, due to his COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Irving was able to participate via videoconference from his home. Irving practiced with the Nets for a week at the San Diego training camp.

Irving was absent from four practices and a preseason home game in Brooklyn after his return to Brooklyn. The city decided to close the HSS Training Center on the same day that the preseason game. Irving joined his team Saturday at Brooklyn Bridge Park's outdoor team event and practiced Sunday at the facility.

Nash stated that Irving would not be playing Monday in Philadelphia where the Nets face the 76ers in preseason games. The Nets will finish their preseason on Thursday with a home match against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Irving will not be vaccinated if he does not receive one before Thursday. He was kept out of the opening game against the Los Angeles Lakers by the Nets on Oct. 3rd.

Nash stated that Irving was cleared to practice on Sunday.

Blake Griffin, power forward, said that Irving's absence is not something that he has experienced before. We will support him no matter what he does, or what the team does. We can all use him when he's here. He is amazing. I won't waste my time trying to understand something I don't fully grasp. We'll adjust and then act accordingly."

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