Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving returns to starting lineup vs. Atlanta Hawks

Jan. 12 (UPI) — Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving is in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, the team announced.

Irving was sidelined for the last 26 games because of a right shoulder injury. He recently returned to practice, and Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said the guard would start Sunday night against the Hawks.

Irving told reporters last week that surgery remained in consideration if there was no improvement with his injury. He took part in full workouts during the week, and Atkinson said Irving was ready to return.

In 11 regular-season games this year, Irving has averaged 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per contest.

Irving’s last appearance came on Nov. 14 in a 101-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets. He notched 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds in 35 minutes against the Nuggets.

The Nets (17-20) host the Hawks (8-31) at 6 p.m. EST at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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