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For the last few weeks, the Philadelphia 76ers have been battling through a COVID-19 outbreak within the team. After the veteran forward Tobias Harris felt symptoms coming on, he decided to take a COVID test before the Sixers faced the Portland Trail Blazers a few weeks back.

Forty minutes before tip-off, Harris was entered into the NBA's health and safety protocol as he tested positive for COVID-19. A couple of nights later, the second-year guard Isaiah Joe was the next to enter the protocol.

Then, Matisse Thybulle became the third before Joel Embiid became the fourth and what the Sixers hope to be the final player deal with a COVID-related setback. Harris and Joe both returned last week. Fortunately for them, they spent the minimum amount of time required in the protocol.

As for Embiid and Thybulle, their timetables have been slightly longer. Thybulle missed the previous seven games before the Sixers faced the Portland Trail Blazers. Fortunately for the shorthanded Sixers, he made it back out on the floor for Saturday's game.

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While Embiid remained out and missed his seventh-straight game on Saturday, the Sixers felt refreshed to have an additional body in the mix. Heading into the game, Thybulle was expected to have his minutes in check. 

While Doc Rivers didn't consider it a restriction before the game -- Thybulle was closely monitored just in case the Sixers had to decrease his playing time as he was jumping right back in without getting any practice sessions.

His minutes were slightly down on Saturday, but not by much. Before going out with COVID, Thybulle averaged just under 25 minutes on the floor. In Portland, he checked in for roughly 21 minutes in his first game back.

"He said his wind was good," Doc Rivers explained. "He was just fumbling, but overall, I thought defensively he was good, not great. Tonight was a burn game, you know what I mean? Like you burned his minutes and see what you can get out of them. I think tomorrow and next game against (Sacramento Kings), he'll be fine."

Simply getting Thybulle back on the floor was a positive sign for the Sixers on Saturday. Although his defensive contributions, along with his nine points on the offensive end, didn't help the 76ers pull through with a victory, the Sixers will feel good knowing they have another key player back on the floor moving forward.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.