The Nets emerged as one of the biggest winners in free agency when they signed both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to four-year contracts. Brooklyn's front office never expected Durant to play this season, but with Irving running the show at the Barclays Center, the Nets entered the year with playoff expectations.
Irving's Brooklyn tenure started off strong with averages of 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds through 11 games. Then a strange shoulder injury forced the six-time All-Star to trade in his jersey for street clothes. Irving hasn't taken the floor in almost two months, but he could be back in action soon.
What's next for the Nets star? Here's everything we know about Irving's injury and the latest news on when he may return to the court.
How long will Kyrie Irving be out?
Irving told reporters on Jan. 4 that he recently received a cortisone injection to relieve an impingement and bursitis in his right (shooting) shoulder. Irving said he tried to avoid anti-inflammatories, but he ultimately decided to get the injection to avoid — or at least put off — surgery. He returned to practice on Jan. 9 and fully participated in five-on-five contact drills.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Jan. 11 that Irving is likely to rejoin the Nets' starting lineup for Brooklyn's home game against the Hawks on Jan. 12.
Kyrie Irving injury timeline
Despite hurting his shoulder on Nov. 12 against the Jazz, Irving played two days later against the Nuggets. The injury may explain why Irving shot 18-of-50 (36 percent) from the field in those games. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson then told reporters Irving would miss the Nov. 16 contest in Chicago.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson on Kyrie Irving’s shoulder injury: “Definitely played through some pain starting after the hit in Utah and I think he gutted it out against Denver quite honestly. We all thought it was the best interest to give him a game here.”
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) November 16, 2019
The Nets have gone 13-13 without Irving. Spencer Dinwiddie (22.5 points, 6.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds per game) has performed admirably in Irving's absence, but a recent seven-game losing streak has dropped Brooklyn down to eighth in the Eastern Conference standings.