The Nets will have to survive at least two more games without Kyrie Irving.

The All-Star point guard has returned to individual drills but still hasn’t been cleared for contact, and he didn’t accompany the Nets on their two-game road trip beginning Wednesday night in Atlanta. Irving already has missed nine games with a right shoulder impingement.

“I just think it’s a collective for me seeing him feeling comfortable,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said after practice Tuesday in Brooklyn. “I think the next step is contact, but definitely the non-contact stuff was ramped up. There was another level of that in terms of conditioning and shooting. It’s just that I don’t think they’re comfortable right now with the contact part.”

Irving, signed to a four-year deal worth $142 million to eventually team up with injured superstar signing Kevin Durant, hasn’t played since Nov. 14 against Denver. The Nets (10-10) actually have gone 6-3 without Irving, who was averaging 24.7 points per game, with Spencer Dinwiddie thriving in his place in the starting lineup.

“I think I used to get frustrated more, I’ve had my moments of frustration because I want him back so bad,” Atkinson said. “You hear our performance staff and then you talk to Kyrie, and he understands. And then you get your mind to a place, like OK, that’s the smartest thing to do.

“But there are moments where you want him back so bad that you get a little frustrated. But then you realize the best thing to do is to wait it out and make sure we’re all in a good place with it.”

Fellow free-agent signing DeAndre Jordan said just having Irving and Durant on the bench during recent home games has been invaluable for some of the team’s younger players. Not that anyone has had to push them to be more involved.

“I don’t have to. They’re doing a good job of that,” Jordan said. “Kevin’s here. He could be at home [working out], but he’s here. He’s around the guys, obviously focusing on his recovery and his progress.

“When Ky speaks up, we listen. He knows the game. He sees a lot of different things from a different vantage point. That’s what we need from him and Kevin. Those guys have been to the top and won it, Shump [Iman Shumpert] also. So guys like that just to be on the bench and even though they’re not playing, just letting us know what they see is great, but they’re leaders off the court.”

Kyrie Irving won't be returning to the Nets lineup just yet.
Kyrie Irving won’t be returning to the Nets lineup just yet.Corey Sipkin

Durant and Irving will remain behind this week, with KD still not likely to play this season. But perhaps Irving will be ready when the Nets return to Barclays Center on Sunday against Denver.

Either way, Atkinson believes both superstars have fully embraced the culture change he and general manager Sean Marks have led within the franchise over the past several seasons.

“They’re buying in,” Atkinson said. “You see Kevin, like, he’s incredible. Those are relationships that are building and I think it’s just going to get better and better. We definitely do things, and I’m not saying in a better way or a different way, but we ask a lot in that area. I’ll throw DJ [Jordan] into that, too, he’s bought in and that really helps.

“I think they appreciate what we’re doing, the dedication and really our amount of resources that we’ve put into the area, player care is No. 1 for us. … We just want to put [Irving] in the best situation to get healthy as quickly as possible.”