After missing nearly two months with a shoulder injury, Nets guard Kyrie Irving is probable to return against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, the team announced.
Irving fully participated in practice for the first time on Thursday morning, including taking part in 5-on-5 contact drills.
He spoke to reporters on Jan. 4 for the first time since mid-November. He said he received a cortisone shot on his right shoulder on Dec. 24 and added that he was hopeful the medication would stave off the need for surgery.
The former Celtics and Cavaliers guard's return comes in the midst of Brooklyn's worst stretch of the season. Before beating Miami on Friday night, the Nets had lost seven straight games, five of those losses coming by double-digits.
Irving's return would mark the second major return for the Nets in the last week. Caris LeVert returned Tuesday against the Thunder after missing nearly two months following right thumb surgery. LeVert scored 20 points in his return against OKC.
Kevin Durant is still expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season as he rehabs his torn Achilles. Forward Garrett Temple and Wilson Chandler are both questionable.
Irving has appeared in 11 games this season, averaging 28.2 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. However, his extended absence coupled with Brooklyn's struggles led some to question whether he should return at all this season.
Tipoff for Sunday's contest is set for 6 p.m. ET.