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Nets say injured Irving probably returns on Sunday


Agence France-Presse

Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving, who has missed 26 games with a right shoulder injury, was listed as probable Saturday by the NBA club for Sunday’s home game against Atlanta.

Six-time NBA All-Star Irving has been benched since mid-November with the injury, but was able to fully take part in team workouts Thursday for the first time in nearly two months.

Irving, 27, told reporters he has no limitations to what he can do “other than just keeping my shoulder maintenance program going before I get on the floor.”

Irving, who was born in Australia to American parents, averaged 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds over 11 games in his first season with Brooklyn after joining the Nets from Boston in the off-season.

Despite his lengthy absence, fans have voted him into an Eastern Conference backcourt starting spot in early voting for next month’s NBA All-Star Game.

Irving was the top overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, whom he helped to an NBA title in 2016.

The Nets are 17-20 and hold the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff position. They went 4-7 to open the campaign before Irving was sidelined.

Irving’s return comes against an Atlanta club sporting an NBA-worst 8-31 record.