Saturday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks will be the 18th straight game that Kyrie Irving has missed, and it doesn't sound like he's getting any closer to a return.
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters at Barclays Center that Irving has still not been cleared for contact due to his shoulder impingement. Originally, Atkinson said that the Irving would be cleared for contact within a week or two, but that clearly has not been the case.
Irving originally suffered his injury against the Utah Jazz on November 12, but he attempted to play through the pain. He played 35 minutes against Denver two nights later, but was sidelined after that.
In his first season with the Nets, Irving has averaged 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. The All-Star guard scored 50 points in his Nets' debut, though the team dropped the game to Minnesota.
In Irving's absence, Spencer Dinwiddie has stepped into the starting lineup and has stepped up in a big way. In 17 games without Irving, Dinwiddie has averaged 25.3 points and 7.2 assists per game. On Thursday, Dinwiddie scored a career-high 41 points in the Nets' loss to San Antonio.
Brooklyn currently holds a 15-13 record and the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.