NEW YORK — Kyrie Irving will not play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, marking the seventh consecutive game he will miss as he continues to ramp up his on-court activity.
As Irving inches closer to returning to game action, his debut alongside James Harden and Kevin Durant could come on the Nets’ upcoming two-game road trip. The Nets are scheduled to play the Cavaliers on Jan. 20 and 22. Irving has played in Cleveland just once since his trade from the Cavs to the Celtics in 2017 — on opening night of the 2017-18 season.
Irving, who had been listed as questionable on Sunday night’s injury report, has not played in a game since Jan. 5.
For the first five games of his absence, Irving was listed as being out for personal reasons. While Irving was away from the team, footage of Irving dancing and standing next to his sister while she blew out candles at a family birthday party began circulating on social media.
The league’s COVID-19 safety protocols say that players are not allowed to go to bars, clubs and lounges or attend gatherings of 15 or more people. Irving was found to have violated those rules and was fined $50,000. Irving also forfeited over $800,000 in salary for the two games he had to miss while in quarantine.
League rules allow for players who have had to quarantine to have a few days to increase on-court workouts before rejoining their team in a game. The Nets did not have a formal practice over the weekend.
In a statement last week, Nets general manager Sean Marks said Irving will “have the opportunity to address his absence when he is ready to do so.”