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Four more Nets enter COVID protocols, leaving team with 10 available players; Kevin Durant ‘questionable’

Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets will be down at least seven players Tuesday night as four more players — LaMarcus Aldridge, James Johnson, DeAndre’ Bembry and Jevon Carter — have entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, joining Paul Millsap. Millsap entered the COVID protocols on Monday.

With Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris already out, the Nets will have only 10 players available vs. the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night at Barclays Center, two above the NBA minimum. Moreover, the Nets also announced that Kevin Durant is “questionable” with right ankle soreness. As Bobby Marks of ESPN reports, the Nets can apply for hardship exceptions that would permit the Nets to add up to three players for the Raptors’ game and beyond.

The news came in updates to the team’s injury status report.

Once players enter the league’s protocols, they must quarantine for 10 days or or return a pair of negative PCR tests taken 24 hours apart. Moreover, Nets players will now face daily COVID tests so others could also wind up in the protocols.

As Brian Lewis reports, the five Nets who entered protocols either returned a positive — or inclusive — COVID test...

Last season, with the vaccine not available at the start of the campaign, players could be put into quarantine just for close contact. But all of the Nets’ players — other than Irving — are vaccinated, and now close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case does not bring on a quarantine.

Thus, the only ways any of the Nets — other than Irving — would enter protocols would be either a positive test or an inconclusive test.

The news comes at an inopportune time for the Nets. Starting Tuesday, they will play six games in the next 10 days, leading up to their big Christmas Day match-up vs. the Lakers.

The Nets have both of their two-ways, David Duke Jr. and Kessler Edwards, available. Edwards and Day’Ron Sharpe were called up from their assignment with the Nets G League affiliate in Long Island on Monday. ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports that the Nets could also add three players, presumably from their Long Island Nets roster, under the league’s hardship exception rule.

Long Island uses the same offensive and defensive schemes, easing any transition.

The NBA, like much of America, has seen COVID infections rise in the last two weeks, but there have been no reports of players having serious symptoms or hospitalizations as a result. All the Nets but Kyrie Irving have been vaccinated, as have 97 percent of the NBA’s players. It’s unclear how many of the Nets have also received booster shots.

On Monday, the NBA cancelled the Chicago Bulls next two games after so many players and staff had to enter the league’s protocols.

Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving, subject of a Shams Charania story Monday suggesting a possible return to play, posted an Instagram video of him lacing up sneakers...

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