Devastated by injury starting the 2023-22 season, the Bucks are one of many teams now facing multiple players who adhere to the league’s health and safety protocols.
Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of those players, with the Bucks superstar joining Wesley Matthews, Bobby Portis and Donte DiVincenzo on the bench.
Before entering the protocols, Antetokounmpo had appeared in 26 of Milwaukee’s 29 games this season.
MORE: Updated team-by-team player list in health and safety protocols
Why did Giannis Antetokounmpo enter the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols?
As TSN’s Gilbert McGregor recently detailed, any vaccinated NBA player is placed on health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19 or receiving an inconclusive COVID-19 test result.
In addition to receiving a positive or inconclusive result, an unvaccinated player is also placed in league health and safety protocols if they are deemed to have been exposed to a person who is positive for COVID-19.
MORE: Explanation of NBA COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols
How long will Giannis Antetokounmpo be out?
If any player tests positive for COVID-19, they must spend a minimum of 10 days away from their team, unless they return two negative PCR tests within 24 hours.
Unvaccinated players who are marked for contact tracing must remain in quarantine for seven days and can return to action if they continue to return negative tests. In most cases, vaccinated players who are marked for contact tracing will not be required to self-quarantine, but will need seven days of more frequent testing.
In addition to receiving clearance from the league, individual teams can implement a return-to-play program to ensure that a player is prepared for the cardiovascular demands of returning to the court.
Over the past few weeks, several players have tested the league’s health and safety protocols to return to their team in less than 10 days.
Will Giannis Antetokounmpo play at Christmas?
By entering health and safety protocols on Dec. 14, Antetokounmpo is cutting it down with the 10-day minimum rule if he wants to prepare for Christmas Day at the Fiserv Forum against the Celtics.
Of course, you could test the protocols before then, but at this stage, it seems to be a race against time.
The Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo has gone into health and safety protections and is out against Indiana on Wednesday.
– Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 15, 2023
Antetokounmpo has missed three games so far in the protocols, with the Bucks going 1-2 in that span. Before Christmas Day, the Bucks host the Rockets before traveling to Dallas to meet with the Mavericks and former head coach Jason Kidd.
Bucks Upcoming Schedule
|Wednesday December 22||against Houston||8:00 pm|
|Thursday, Dec. 23||in dallas||8:30 pm||NBA TV|
|Saturday, dec. 25||against Boston||2:30 pm||ABC|
|Tuesday, December 28||in orlando||7:00 pm|
|Thursday, Dec. 29||in orlando||7:00 pm|
|Sat, Jan one||against New Orleans||6:30 pm|
|Wed, Jan. 3||against Detroit||8:00 pm|