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COVID-19 seems to have finally caught up with Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo ahead of the Indiana Pacers game as he became the latest player to enter the NBA health and safety protocols. Not only Giannis Antetokounmpo but as per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Milwaukee Bucks guard Wes Matthews also entered protocols, with the remainder of the Milwaukee squad will undergo testing. Apart from Giannis Antetokounmpo, the other players to miss the Indiana Pacers game are DeMarcus Cousins (personal reasons), Brook Lopez (back surgery) and Semi Ojeleye (calf strain).
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Giannis Antetokounmpo will not play against Indiana Pacers. As per ESPN report Antetokounmpo went into the protocols a day after scoring 20 points in 34 minutes in a 117-103 loss to the Celtics in Boston. Talking about NBA health protocols, players who test positive can clear COVID-19 protocols with two negative PCR tests within 24 hours, otherwise, players must spend 10 days in isolation away from the team without conducting the physical activity.
Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo has entered health and safety protcols and is out vs. Indiana on Wednesday.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 15, 2021
After the isolation period, players must then go through cardiac screening and reconditioning. Milwaukee has six games over an 11-day span beginning Wednesday, followed by a road game in New Orleans, home games against Cleveland and Houston, a road game in Dallas and then the Christmas Day showdown with Boston at home.
While Giannis Antetokounmpo is the latest to enter the health and safety protocol, Brooklyn Nets star James Harden joined six other Nets players in the protocols, leaving them with just eight players against the Raptors on Tuesday evening.
The league has already postponed two Bulls games this week after 10 players entered health and safety protocols, marking them as the first game postponements of the season. Chicago Bulls had Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Troy Brown Jr., Coby White, Javonte Green, Matt Thomas, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, Stanley Johnson and Alize Johnson all enter the protocols.
The NBA mandates a minimum of eight players be on a roster for each team. Charlotte faced a possible outbreak 10 days ago when LaMelo Ball, Jalen McDaniels, Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier entered the NBA's health and safety protocols.