Kyrie Irving, who is recovering from a knee injury, has joined a practice of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time this season. There is still no timetable for the point guard’s return but recent reports state that he will be joining the Cavaliers’ light practices in the next few weeks.

Irving admitted that he has to recover mentally first but said that he’s motivated to return fully healthy this year.

"I think the biggest thing for me is getting over the mental hump of being able to go out there and still compete,” Irving shared to Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I've kind of been itching for the last few weeks, but finally getting my trainers' clearance, as well as our organization to go out there and practice with the guys, have 5-on-5, going up and down, finally being able to hit guys a little bit and have guys hit me, as a competitor, I've been itching for that.”

Asked for a probable specific return date, Irving wouldn’t commit saying he’s “just taking it as it goes” and that he’s glad to be practicing with his teammates whom he calls “brothers.” Irving added that the past week has been great with regards to his recovery, both mentally and physically.

The 23-year-old Irving, who will be playing in his fifth NBA season, last played for the Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals where his team lost to the Golden State Warriors. Irving played in Game 1 of the championship round but missed the rest of the series due to the knee injury.

According to separate reports, Irving is targeting a return on Christmas Day, when the Cavaliers are scheduled to face their NBA Finals nemesis.

Irving played in 75 regular season games last year when he averaged 21.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.4 steals. In his first postseason appearance, Irving averaged 19.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 19 games played.

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