Nets boosted as Durant, Irving, Aldridge return after Covid concerns

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Brooklyn's Kevin Durant, seen here in an NBA game against Philadelphia, is set to return for the Nets after being sidelined by Covid concerns (AFP/AL BELLO)

Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving along with teammate LaMarcus Aldridge have been cleared to return after being sidelined by Covid, the NBA team said Tuesday.

Eastern Conference leaders Brooklyn swept the Lakers and Clippers in Los Angeles without any of the trio, James Harden returning from Covid protocols to lead the Nets.

"Confidence is through the roof," Harden said after scoring 39 points in Monday's win over the Clippers. "Now just you add KD, and Ky, and LaMarcus and Joe Harris, and that's four of our best players, four of our top players that are out."

Durant could be on the floor when the Nets host the Philadelphia 76ers in their next game on Thursday.

Irving won't be available since he is unvaccinated and therefore unable to play in home games at the Barclays Center because of New York City's vaccine mandate.

Irving hasn't played yet this season, but the Nets this month reversed course and said they would welcome him back to action despite his decision to remain unvaccinated.

In October the Nets had said they wouldn't play him until he was able to be a full-time player.

A day after the Nets announced that decision Irving entered the Covid health and safety protocols.

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