Watch: Kyrie Irving returns to practice in protective face mask
Kyrie Irving was back at practice with the Brooklyn Nets after missing the first two training camp sessions over the weekend due to a facial fracture suffered last week.
To protect against aggravating the injury or potentially causing more damage, Irving donned a protective face mask, as evidenced in footage shared by the NBA on Twitter.
#11 for the @BrooklynNets, @KyrieIrving! #NetsAllAccess#WeGoHard pic.twitter.com/bvpOv5mIZz— NBA (@NBA) October 1, 2019
KYRIE JARRETT#NetsAllAccess#WeGoHard pic.twitter.com/osZTh3hcd0— NBA (@NBA) October 1, 2019
Irving originally suffered the left-side facial fracture when he took an inadvertent elbow to the face during a pickup game, a mishap that led to a precautionary visit to the hospital. Upon the injury, the Nets declared Irving day-to-day, so it’s certainly encouraging he’s already back on the court.
It merits noting that Irving has previously dealt with these kind of injuries before in his career — a facial fracture during the 2017-18 season, not to mention an eye injury last season — and in both instances donned masks during games as a member of both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.
The Nets open up their regular season on Oct. 23 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s unclear whether Irving’s facial fracture will be fully healed by that point. If not, the fact he’s worn a mask before in regular-season action suggests he’d be willing to do so again.