Anadolu Efes Istanbul guard Shane Larkin has confirmed in a social media post that he is "active" for a return to the lineup on Friday after missing the team's first four games of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season while recovering from injury.
Larkin was the runaway favorite to become MVP before last season ended prematurely due to the global COVID-19 epidemic. He had led Efes to first place in the standings with a 24-4 record on the back of several record-breaking performances. Larkin returns after Efes has stumbled to a 1-3 start this season and visits Olympiacos Piraeus in a game starting at 21:00 local time, 20:00 CET, on Friday.
Coincidentally, in his final game last season, Larkin scored 40 points in a 91-79 victor over Olympiacos. That night, became the first player in EuroLeague history ever to score 40 or more points in two games, after having broken the overall single-game scoring record with 49 points earlier last season. In both of those games, Larkin made 10 three-point shots, becoming the first player to repeat that feat, as well.
Larkin had joined Efes at the start of the 2018-19 season, when the team was coming off a last-place finish the previous year. In the middle of that season, he exploded for 37 points in a key home win over Barcelona, then averaged 19.6 per game against the same team to lift Efes to its first Final Four in more than 15 years. Larkin broke the record for points in a Final Four this century with 59 as Efes finished runner-up to CSKA Moscow in a thrilling championship game.