Nets' Irving eyeing NBA return as shoulder improves
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New York (AFP)
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, sidelined more than a month by a right shoulder injury, returned to full practice on Thursday and said he hopes to see NBA action soon.
"We just see where we end up in the next few days," Irving told reporters. "Realistically, we will re-evaluate tomorrow. See how I feel tomorrow. Then go Saturday -- probably another practice."
Irving, who signed with Brooklyn in July, has played in just 11 games for the Nets, averaging 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists.
He said he believed his shoulder trouble began with overuse and gradually got worse.
He hasn't played since November 14, but said a meticulous rehabilitation programme had been boosted by a cortisone injection he received on December 24.
On Saturday, Irving said he wasn't sure how effective the shot would be, and he hadn't ruled out surgery, but on Thursday he seemed more hopeful that an operation would be avoided.
"It gave me a great stepping stone to work my way to getting back on the floor," he said.
"Hopefully I get some game reps in addition to practice probably in the next week or so," Irving added. "It could be less than that, but I'll give myself a week."
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