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Kyrie Irving returns to start for Nets; Trae Young out for Hawks

Nets guard is active after missing 26 straight games with a shoulder injury

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving is back for the Brooklyn Nets. Trae Young is out for the Atlanta Hawks.

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Irving had been sidelined for 26 games with a right shoulder injury. But he recently returned to practice, and Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said the point guard would start Sunday night.

Irving hasn’t played since mid-November because of an impingement and got a cortisone shot last month.

He said last week surgery could still be a consideration if there was no improvement but instead took part in full workouts during the week and Atkinson said Irving is ready.

Young has a left hamstring injury. Coach Lloyd Pierce said his second-year star received treatment Saturday but still felt soreness Sunday. Brandon Goodwin is expected to start in his place.

Young averages 28.9 points and Irving 28.5. Irving and Young are the current Eastern Conference leaders at guard in fan voting for the All-Star Game.