Durant returns, Kyrie still out for Nets vs. OKCon January 10, 2021 at 9:59 pm

After missing the past three games because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Kevin Durant is set to return Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team announced.

Kyrie Irving, however, will miss his third straight game for personal reasons.

The Nets have elected not to elaborate on Irving’s absence, with coach Steve Nash saying Friday that he has communicated with the All-Star guard but wanted to keep those conversations private. Asked whether he was satisfied with Irving’s communication level, Nash again said he wanted to keep that private, a sentiment he continued before the Nets faced the Thunder.

“All the communication with Ky between the organization I’m going to keep private,” Nash said Sunday, “but I’m sure you’ll hear from him at some point.”

Asked whether he had any idea of a timeline on Irving’s return, Nash said he did not.

Durant, who tested positive for COVID-19 last spring and is still showing antibodies in his testing, had a close contact exposure recently that forced him to sit out with a mandatory seven-day quarantine.

“Kevin is excited. He was devastated to have to sit out,” Nash said. “We all know he loves the game and loves to hoop, so he’s excited to be and obviously we have one happy coach to have him back.”

Without Durant and Irving, the Nets have split their past two games.

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