Kyrie Irving is one step closer to making his NBA return. According to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, the baller has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. It may, however, be some time before he plays in any games as his performance must be examined before he goes back on the court.

“With Kyrie, I’m not sure but it’s coming,” Nets coach Steve Nash said in a press conference on Monday (Dec. 27). “He’s already been in for eight days or more so he should be. I’m not sure the exact sure of how many days right now, but he’s got to be getting close. It’s hard to say, but I would say probably somewhere between a week and two weeks. He’s isolating, so that kinda puts another layer to the ramp-up. It’s not like he’s been working out. I’d imagine it’s going to be closer to two weeks once he comes out of protocols. We’ll see how it goes though because we have to evaluate him from a physical and performance standpoint, and then a basketball standpoint as well.”

Kevin Durant, who had also entered protocols after contracting COVID-19, may be making his return as soon as Thursday (Dec. 30) for the Nets’ matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Irving‘s forthcoming return will also be his season debut after he was prohibited from playing games for his anti-vaxx stance.

“We have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” the team’s General Manager Sean Marks previously said in a statement. “Kyrie has made a personal choice and we respect his individual right to choose.”

Months later, following several “unfolding circumstances” “including injuries, COVID losses and an inordinate minutes load on their superstar players,” Nets leaders have decided to bring Irving back as a part-time player.