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Report: Kyrie Irving expected to return against Nets

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Boston’s star point guard will be back on the floor.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is expected to play in the Boston Celtics’ game against the Brooklyn Nets tonight. Irving left the team’s matchup with the Hornets after fracturing his face, and missed Boston’s most recent game against the Toronto Raptors. He will wear a mask to protect his face for at least the next several weeks.

Speculation was that Irving would return from his injury relatively quickly, but the team was hesitant to establish a specific timeline. Missing just a single game is a boon for Boston.

Irving’s absence was notable on the offensive end of the floor, where the Celtics struggled to scrape together enough points for a win. His return means Boston will have two of its three stars together for the first time since early last week, when big man Al Horford was sidelined by a concussion.

Irving and Horford have developed a beautiful chemistry, and should help give the Celtics a scoring boost. That may not be critical tonight, against Brooklyn’s fairly porous defense, but Boston will most definitely need its full complement of players when the Golden State Warriors come to town on Thursday.