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#pounditFriday, March 5, 2021

Kyrie Irving expected to play against Magic on Saturday

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving has been away from the Brooklyn Nets for over a week for personal reasons, but he could not return now even if he wanted to due to a violation of COVID-19 protocols. Once he is cleared from that, Irving is reportedly planning to get back to work.

The NBA announced on Friday that Irving has been fined $50,000 and docked two game checks for violating COVID-19 protocols. The disciplinary action stemmed from Irving attending a party last weekend without a mask on. He now has to quarantine for five days and will be eligible to return on Saturday if he continues to test negative for the coronavirus.

But will he return? ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Irving is expected to play against the Orlando Magic on Saturday as long as he is cleared.

The Nets acquired James Harden in a blockbuster trade this week. They are clearly the favorite in the East now, and they will be extremely tough to beat if Irving returns and is focused. That is hardly a given, of course.

Irving is said to be furious with the Nets for a number of reasons. It’s unclear exactly why he took time off or why he is choosing to return this weekend.

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