The Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics have lost their fair share of notable players over the last couple of weeks due to injuries and COVID-related setbacks. At this point, the Sixers are nearly getting fully healthy.
The Celtics, on the other hand, are almost there as well -- but they haven't reached that point quite yet. Earlier this week, the Celtics traveled to Philadelphia to partake in a two-game series in South Philly against the Sixers.
Before the Celtics took flight on Tuesday, Boston's head coach Brad Stevens revealed that Celtics star Jayson Tatum would not be making the trip as he remains in Health and Safety Protocol due to COVID-19 tracing.
While Tatum's absence from the team flight indicated he wouldn't play in Wednesday's matchup, Stevens wouldn't rule out the idea of having the veteran forward make his way to Philly for Friday's matchup as long as he's cleared for action.
Unfortunately for Boston, that won't happen. As of Thursday's injury report, the Celtics have already ruled Tatum out for Friday's matchup. Meanwhile, the Sixers are getting even healthier as they are expected to have Seth Curry back in the mix on their end.
Curry, who also missed several weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, hasn't hit the floor in over two weeks at this point. While many anticipated his return on Wednesday night, the 76ers ruled Curry out as he was going through a reconditioning period.
The Sixers haven't officially confirmed Curry is a sure-thing to play on Friday night, but the veteran guard was listed as Probable on the team's injury report on Thursday night. Barring any surprise setbacks, Curry is more than likely going to get the nod to play once again on Friday for the Sixers-Celtics rematch.
When these two teams met on Wednesday, Boston had control of the game for a good portion of the matchup. In the end, the Sixers managed to get out in front and secure a 117-109 victory.
With Curry back in and Tatum still out, the Sixers head into Friday night's game slightly favored. As we know, rivalry games are never easy no matter what the circumstances are, but the Sixers are definitely in a favorable position on Friday night.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_