The Boston Celtics have been missing the services of superstar forward Jayson Tatum over the past couple of games, as the 22-year-old continues to remain out due to health and safety protocols. However, it appears that the All-Star wing will return to action sooner rather than later, with Cs coach Brad Stevens providing an optimistic update on Tatum's status star moving forward.
According to Stevens, Boston could get Tatum back as early as Friday's tilt with the Philadelphia 76ers (h/t Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports):
Brad Stevens said that Jayson Tatum is out of the health and safety protocol and is working up to a return to action. Stevens said that Tatum was 50-50 to return to play on Friday. Tatum is out tonight.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 20, 2021
Tatum returned a positive test result for COVID-19 on Jan. 10, and has since been self-isolating. He is now nearing the two-week mark of his mandatory quarantine period, and as the report states above, he could be available for Boston for Friday's matchup against the Sixers.
One of the league's health and safety requirements for quarantined players include registering negative test results for the coronavirus. With reports stating that Tatum was already able to practice on Wednesday, it would be safe to assume that he was able to meet this particular protocol.
It is worth noting, though, that even if Tatum is indeed available for the Celtics on Friday, conditioning could be an issue. Not only was he forced to sit out a couple of weeks, but also, his body had to go through a taxing bout against COVID-19. It would not be surprising if Stevens opts to ease his star back into action, so Tatum could be on a minutes limit for Friday.