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Grizzlies' Ja Morant enters NBA's Health and Safety Protocols

Memphis' star guard was already out of the lineup because of a knee injury suffered on Nov. 26.

Ja Morant has been out of the Grizzlies’ lineup since suffering a left knee injury on Nov. 26.

Injured Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has entered the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, the team announced Wednesday. Morant has been out of the Grizzlies’ lineup since Nov. 26, when he suffered a sprained left knee.

The NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols require players to be sidelined at least 10 days or record two negative tests in a 24-hour period before they can resume basketball activities. Morant is the latest high-level player to enter the Protocols in the past week. Chicago Bulls star guard DeMar DeRozan entered them earlier this week, where he was joined by teammates Coby White and Javonte Green.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday that Bulls reserve guard Matt Thomas has also entered the Health and Safety Protocols.

Morant’s injury happened with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks. Morant was on the offensive end when he came up hobbling. He limped along the baseline to the Memphis bench. He was almost immediately helped back to the Memphis locker room.

Memphis has responded well since Morant suffered his injury, racking up five straight victories thanks to a 90.9 defensive rating since then — a stat that ranks No. 1 in the NBA during that short timeframe.

The second pick in the 2019 draft out of Murray State, Morant is averaging 25.3 points per game and 7.1 assists per game and was the 2019-20 Kia Rookie of the Year.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.