NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and returning team-mate Kyrie Irving have entered the NBA's COVID-19 protocols, the team said on Saturday, as the league battles a surge in cases.
The Nets said both Durant and Irving had been placed on the COVID list, meaning nine Brooklyn players have entered the safety protocols in the past week.
Nets team-mates Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge and James Harden had already entered the protocols this week along with four other players.
Durant, who is nursing a sore right ankle, had already been rested for Brooklyn's game against the Orlando Magic later on Saturday.
The Former NBA MVP has been carrying the Nets in the past week as a string of team-mates were ruled out of action due to COVID-19, scoring 51, 34 and 31 points in three starts.
Irving meanwhile was placed in the COVID-19 protocols just a day after Brooklyn said they were ready to welcome the star point guard back into the fold.
Irving has not played at all this season after refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, making him ineligible to appear in home games at the Barclays Center because of New York city regulations.
The Nets excluded Irving from the squad for away games as well but on Friday said he would now be available for selection for road games.
After a relatively trouble-free start to the season, COVID-19 has returned with a vengeance in the past two weeks, with several NBA teams struck by outbreaks of the virus.
© Agence France-Presse