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Celtics star Jayson Tatum enters Health and Safety Protocols

The Boston Celtics' leading scorer is averaging 25.6 points per game this season.

Jayson Tatum has been placed in the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols.

Boston Celtics star forward Jayson Tatum will not play Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves (8 ET, NBA League Pass) after entering the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, the team announced today.

A two-time All-Star, Tatum is averaging 25.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game this season while shooting 41.7% overall and 32.9% on 3-pointers. The Celtics have several other players in protocols including Enes Freedom, Bruno Fernando, Justin Jackson, C.J. Miles, Aaron Nesmith, Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder and Grant Williams. Only Williams is listed as questionable for Monday’s game against Minnesota.

Protocols require players to be sidelined at least 10 days or record two negative COVID-19 tests in a 24-hour period before they can resume basketball activities.

In January of 2021, Tatum tested positive for COVID-19 and was out of the Celtics’ lineup from Jan. 15-24 because of it. After he returned following his bout with the virus, Tatum said he dealt with lingering aftereffects of it, including what he called a noticeable ability to get fatigued quicker.

“I think it messes with your breathing a little bit,” Tatum said last February. “I have experienced some games where, I don’t want to say struggling to breathe, but you get fatigued a lot quicker than normal. Just running up and down the court a few times, it’s easier to get out of breath or tired a lot faster; I’ve noticed that since I’ve had COVID. It’s just something I’m working on. It’s gotten better since the first game I played, but I still deal with it from time to time.”

He used an inhaler to help with his breathing issues at times last season, something Tatum never used prior to contracting COVID. However, Tatum told reporters before Media Day that he was able to shed the inhaler after not using it over the summer while participating with Team USA.

Celtics star Jaylen Brown tested positive for COVID-19 in October, but was asymptomatic and returned in time to play in the season-opener.

Tatum is among at least 124 players working through protocols as of Sunday’s evening injury report. The league’s expanded testing for unboostered players began following the Christmas Day showcase, and will last through January 8.

Other notables to enter the Health and Safety Protocols on Sunday:

Hawks forward John Collins
The Hornets’ Miles Bridges, Cody Martin and PJ Washington
• Bulls guard Lonzo Ball
• Grizzlies guards Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton
• Spurs guard Dejounte Murray

The Celtics are 16-17 and in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Charlotte Hornets by 1/2 game for the No. 8 spot and the Washington Wizards by one game for the No. 7 spot.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.