Kyrie explains absence, Nash expects him to play Wednesday
Nathaniel S. Butler / National Basketball Association / Getty

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash expects star floor general Kyrie Irving to play Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to The Athletic's Alex Schiffer.

Irving participated in practice Monday after missing Brooklyn's last seven games. He missed five contests for personal reasons and another two tilts as he ramped up his basketball activity before returning.

"I'm happy to be back, happy to be around these guys," Irving said in his first public comments since stepping away from the club. "I addressed the team, addressed everybody that needed to be addressed; now it's time to move on."

The 28-year-old also briefly touched on his lengthy absence.

"There's a lot of family and personal stuff going on, so just want to leave it at that," he said. Irving added he took his leave because he "just needed a pause," according to The Associated Press' Brian Mahoney.

The NBA fined Irving $50,000 during his absence after footage surfaced of him attending an indoor party while maskless in violation of the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The league also docked Irving $816,898 of his salary for missing two games during his mandated quarantine period.

The six-time All-Star last played on Jan. 5 before the Nets acquired James Harden from the Houston Rockets. Irving is averaging 27.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.1 rebounds through seven appearances this season.

Wednesday's contest would mark the first time Irving, Harden, and Kevin Durant have shared the floor as teammates.

Kyrie explains absence, Nash expects him to play Wednesday
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