Raptors Get 3 Key Players Back From Health & Safety Protocols


Finally some good news for the Toronto Raptors. With 10 players out of the lineup on health and safety protocols, the Raptors basically fielded a G League team in their 45-point loss in Cleveland Sunday night. Now, three key players are cleared for a return to the lineup.

Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr. and Khem Birch have all cleared COVID protocols, and have been given the thumbs up to rejoin the team. 

The three are listed as "questionable" for Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, however, due to "return to competition reconditioning." 

That still leaves 7 others in protocols, three of them key starters: Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, Malachi Flynn, Justin Champagnie and Isaac Bonga. 

Things got so bad for the Raptors, that 4 of the 8 players who dressed for their game in Cleveland pulled on the Toronto jersey for the first time just before game-time. 

"We met them on the bus on the way to the arena," said Yuta Watanabe, one of four Raptors bench-players forced into the starting lineup. 

And with less than 30 minutes of court time together, "running through a couple of plays", the 45-point loss to a real NBA team was not unexpected.

Now, however, three could return for the next game, and with the NBA reducing the health and safety protocols to 6 days, most of the regulars should be back by the end of the week. 

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports