We’re almost three years into this COVID-19 pandemic and there is still so much about this virus that remains unclear. How come, for example, some people bounce back from the virus within a matter of days and receive negative tests shortly after testing positive while others battle the virus for weeks or months?
Therein lies the problem with forecasting when the Toronto Raptors are going to get healthy. The short answer is: nobody knows.
Last season, for example, Pascal Siakam missed 19 days following his positive COVID-19 test on February 26. He didn’t return to action until March 17 and when he did he said he was 10 to 15 pounds lighter having battled the virus. Conversely, Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker entered COVID protocols last week on December 14 and cleared protocols seven days later, in time to play on December 21. This is all to say, anything can happen.
Pascal Siakam & Dalano Banton: December 18
Siakam and Dalano Banton were the first two Raptors players to be admitted into COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols shortly before last Saturday’s Golden State Warriors game. Per NBA rules, vaccinated players are required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days before they can return unless they receive two negative PCR tests at least 24 hours apart. Therefore, assuming no hiccups with the virus, the two should be able to return on December 28, in time to take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Gary Trent Jr: December 20
Gary Trent Jr. was the next player to enter protocols on December 20. Again, barring any issues or testing out of quarantine, the 22-year-old guard will be eligible to return on December 30, in time for Toronto’s New Year’s Eve tilt against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, Malachi Flynn: December 21
Both Fred VanVleet and Malachi Flynn tested positive for COVID last season and were sidelined from March 3 to March 17 in VanVleet’s case and March 19 in Flynn’s case. This year, both guards went into COVID protocols along with Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa on December 21. They should be available to return for that December 31 game against the Clippers.
OG Anunoby: December 22
OG Anunoby is the most recent player to enter COVID protocols, doing so in Chicago just hours before the Raptors were scheduled to play the Bulls on Wednesday night. Last season he was out from March 3 to March 19 due to COVID. This year, if things go as planned, he should be eligible to return on January 1, in time for the Raptors to play the New York Knicks on January 2.