Over the last couple of years, Philadelphia 76ers veteran forward Tobias Harris has been one of the most reliable members of the roster when it comes to health and availability. In his first full season with the Sixers, Harris played in 72 of 73 possible games during the 2019-2020 run.
Last season, Harris appeared in 62 of 72 games, with his most notable absence coming as a result of getting entered into the NBA's health and safety protocol due to contact tracing early on in the year.
As availability has been a critical strength of Harris's over the years, the veteran forward is apparently disappointed with the way his season has gone so far this year as he's struggled to remain healthy and on the court for the Sixers.
After appearing in the first six games of the 2021-2022 NBA season, Harris found himself entered into the NBA's health and safety protocol as he tested positive for COVID-19. Harris was forced to miss ten days worth of games and practices as he showed symptoms and failed to register multiple negative tests in a 24-hour window.
For six-straight games, Harris was sidelined with COVID-19. Eventually, he made his return on November 11 to face the Toronto Raptors. After appearing in the next five games, Harris was affected by another setback as he injured his hip in the November 20 matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.
While he was dealing with a sore hip, Harris was forced to miss two more games as the Sixers played the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors. He once again returned to the lineup last Saturday to face the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then after playing in three-straight games, Harris was ruled out against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night as he's been dealing with a non-COVID illness.
At this point, Harris has missed nine of a possible 23 games for the Sixers this year, which is uncharacteristic for the starting veteran. After speaking to Harris several times on Friday, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers revealed that the veteran forward is feeling down as he's dealing with his third setback this year.
"I talked to him a couple of times today," Rivers revealed on Friday. "He's struggling. The flu hit him really hard, but he's down about it because he just feels like he can't get a break. I told him the same thing, like, it's gonna all work out at some point. Your hip is gonna feel great. You're not gonna have COVID. You're not gonna have the flu, and you're gonna go on a run. You just got to hang in there."
Harris' availability for Monday night's game in Charlotte is currently unclear. While he will get a two-day break following Philly's tight win in Atlanta, there is still a chance Harris might not receive clearance to play against the Hornets.
Harris would miss his tenth game this year if that becomes the case. While that's not an ideal scenario for the veteran, who typically stays healthy, Doc Rivers believes luck will soon be on his side as long as he remains patient.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.