Kyrie Irving Returns To Practice

As the Blue Devils prepare to open the NCAA Tournament against Hampton, there's a familiar face returning to the lineup.

Freshman guard Kyrie Irving participated in practice with the team on Tuesday and will likely be available to play this weekend when the Blue Devils begin defense of the NCAA Championship. His first practice since injuring the big toe on his right foot against Butler in early December.

He was cleared for practice Monday and took the court this afternoon.

"There is a chance that he would play, but the decision won't be made for a few days," the Duke head coach told the media on Tuesday.

If he did return against the 16th seeded Pirates, Krzyzewski said the freshman would certainly not start and would likely be reduced to "spot duty". But such a role would be a welcomed sight for Duke players and fans alike as Irving worked his way back into shape.

Duke continues to monitor the injured toe and the medical staff is providing daily updates to the coaches and Irving family. Additionally NIke has manufactured a special shoe that will prevent the toe from being bent back and thus re-injured.

Irving's first public workouts will be on Thursday at the open practice in Charlotte, but until then his teammates were impressed with their returning star's ability to reintegrate.

"Personally, I don't think he's missed a beat," senior forward Kyle Singler said. "He's done a great job rehabbing. He's a little bit out of shape, but that's to be expected."


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