Skip to main content

The Philadelphia 76ers are slowly getting healthier after having a COVID-19 outbreak over the last two weeks. It all started when Sixers starting forward Tobias Harris came in contact with a team staffer, who was positive for COVID-19.

After feeling symptoms, Harris was tested before Philly's matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers two weeks ago. Sure enough, the veteran forward was positive for COVID and entered into the NBA's health and safety protocol.

A few nights later, Sixers' second-year guard Isaiah Joe became the second member of the team to test positive and enter the protocol. The following night, 76ers defensive standout Matisse Thybulle became the third player to enter the protocol.

And just when it felt like the Sixers avoided any further cases, the team's All-Star center Joel Embiid tested positive last Monday and became the fourth player to enter the protocol. At this point, two Sixers have been cleared from the protocol as Tobias Harris made his return last Thursday and Isaiah Joe came back on Saturday.

Read More

Now, the Sixers are hopeful of getting the other two back in action sooner than later as they both missed Tuesday's game against the Utah Jazz. Before the Sixers and the Jazz tipped off on Tuesday night, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers offered a quick update on Embiid and Thybulle as their returns could come soon.

"Man, I don't check a lot with the COVID stuff," Rivers said. "With Matisse, it's just trying to get the right date with the league. It's a lot of clutter going on. I'll leave it at that. With Joel, it's the same thing. He's just trying to get better. You have to have the two negative tests."

Last week, Rivers revealed that Embiid is symptomatic. Therefore, he'll have to be feeling a lot better and feeling in game shape, in addition to registering multiple negative tests before making his return.

As for Thybulle, he could likely return any day now. While his current status is unclear, the young veteran is approaching roughly ten days in the protocol. So, he could realistically return as early as Thursday's game in Denver as long as he's negative for COVID-19 and feeling ready to play.

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