Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and returning teammate Kyrie Irving have entered the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, the team said Saturday, as the league continues to battle a surge in cases.

Nine Brooklyn players have entered the safety protocols in the past week. Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge and James Harden entered the protocols this week along with four other players.

Durant was already scheduled to miss the Nets’ game against the Magic on Saturday to rest a sore right ankle.

The former NBA MVP has been carrying the Nets over the past week with a string of teammates ruled out of action due to COVID-19, scoring 51, 34 and 31 points in three starts.

Irving, meanwhile, was placed in the protocols just a day after Brooklyn said its was 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, the team said he would be available for for road games.

The NBA enjoyed a relatively trouble-free start to the season, but COVID-19 has returned with a vengeance in the past two weeks, with several teams struck by outbreaks.

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