Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has cleared the league's health and safety protocols and is expected to play in the team's Christmas Day game against the Boston Celtics, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. This comes after he did on-court work on Friday.
Giannis entered the protocols on Dec. 14 and has missed the Bucks' past five games. Though the team obviously wants him back as soon as possible -- and the league would prefer to have one of its biggest stars available for their marquee day -- the Bucks won't rush him back if he's not 100 percent ready. Thankfully, it appears NBA fans will get to see the reigning Finals MVP in holiday action.
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Based on comments from Khris Middleton earlier this week, it appears that Giannis did test positive for COVID-19 and was symptomatic.
"I talked to him a couple times," Middleton said. "I think he's definitely feeling it, from what I gathered, or heard when I talked to him. But he lives and breathes basketball. I think we all know that. So I think it's an understatement to say he misses being out there, misses being out around the court and what not. Like you said, when he's not playing he's standing up on the bench the whole time. I know he's itching to get back so I hope we can see him here soon."
If Giannis indeed does play, he will likely be put on some sort of a minutes restriction since it will be his first game in nearly two weeks.
Also set to make his season debut on Christmas Day is Donte DiVincenzo, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. The guard has been sidelined after surgery to repair and ankle injury he suffered in last year's playoffs.