Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will “re-join the team for games and practices in which he is eligible to participate,” the team tweeted on Friday. He has been benched since the start of the season because he did not get vaccinated against COVID-19. “We believe that the addition of Kyrie will not only make us a better team but allow us to more optimally balance the physical demand on the entire roster,” the team wrote. The following statement has been released by General Manager Sean Marks: pic.twitter.com/DAldOYe4nj — Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 18, 2021 It is not clear exactly when the point guard will return. Irving has been unable to play due to New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which requires residents to have at least one shot to enter indoor gyms, including Barclays Center. In October, the team decided Irving would not play in any of its games, home or away. After the announcement, Irving did an Instagram Live in which he said he was “doing what’s best for me.” “I know the consequences here and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is,” he said in October. “That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate.” The team has been paying Irving for away games, but he is giving up about half of his $35 million salary by missing the home games. “So what? It’s not about the money,” he said back in October. “It’s not always about the money. It’s about choosing what’s best for you. You think I really want to lose money?” Justin Carissimo contributed reporting.