Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly clears COVID protocols ahead of Christmas matchup vs. Celtics

Antetokounmpo will practice Friday to see if he can play in Saturday's game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo could return to game action on Saturday against the Celtics. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The Celtics and Bucks might have all of their star players available for Saturday’s Christmas Day matchup.

Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo cleared the league’s health and safety protocols, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported Friday. Antetokounmpo’s status for Saturday’s game though is up in the air, as he’ll practice Friday to see if he’s in game shape, Lowe added.

Antetokounmpo was placed in the league’s health and safety protocol on Dec. 14, marking 10 days of inactivity. There have been instances in which players didn’t return to game action right away after clearing protocols. One of those occasions was with Jayson Tatum last season. He didn’t return to game action until five days after he was cleared from the league’s protocol for conditioning reasons.


Antentokoumpo’s entry into the league’s health and safety protocols came as the league dealt with a COVID outbreak. As of Tuesday, 127 players have been placed in health and safety protocols during the month of December. For the Celtics, eight players (Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Grant Williams, Jabari Parker, Enes Kanter Freedom, Brodric Thomas, Juancho Hernangomez, and Sam Hauser) are in the league’s protocol as of Friday afternoon. The Bucks still have two players (guard Donte DiVincenzo and big man Bobby Portis) in the league’s protocol.

The Celtics and Bucks have already faced each other twice this season, with Boston winning both matchups. Antetokounmpo didn’t play in the first game between the two teams due to an injury. He did play in the Dec. 13 matchup, though, scoring 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting with eight rebounds and three assists. Antetokounmpo is averaging 27 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game this season.


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