The 2020-2021 NBA season has taken a sharp turn for the Philadelphia 76ers recently. On Thursday night, as the Sixers played the back-end of a back to back in Brooklyn, veteran guard Seth Curry found out he tested positive for COVID-19.
Curry's positive test resulted in four Sixers players getting sent into quarantine, as several players were already out for non-COVID related injuries. Heading into Saturday's matchup against the Denver Nuggets, the Sixers had just six players healthy and available, according to the Friday night injury report.
Although three of seven players, who were questionable due to health and safety protocols, were cleared on Saturday afternoon, the Sixers ruled out their two stars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, for injury-related reasons.
Meanwhile, Sixers veteran forward Mike Scott was told to suit up so the NBA could avoid postponing Philly's Saturday afternoon matchup. As expected, Scott didn't actually play on Saturday as he continued to recover from a knee contusion.
The good news is Scott has a positive chance of returning finally on Monday. After spending a little more than a week off the court due to a knee contusion, which he suffered on New Year's Eve, Scott was listed as probable on Sunday's injury report ahead of Philly's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
As for Joel Embiid, he missed Saturday's game due to back stiffness. Unlike his fellow All-Star Simmons, Embiid was cleared to travel to Atlanta on Sunday night and is also listed as probable on the injury report. If both Scott and Embiid make their returns on Monday night, the Sixers will then have nine players available -- one more than the league's minimum -- which means the game will likely get played.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_