Despite the rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine rollout in the U.S., NBA players still need to adhere to strict health and safety protocols to prevent potential outbreaks during the 2020-21 season.
The league will relax some of the restrictions for teams that have vaccinated 85% of the players and staff against COVID-19. Among the incentives: no quarantine requirement upon exposure to a positive coronavirus case, no mask mandate at the practice facility and more convenient testing timings. Other freedoms will include permission for outdoor dining as well as friend and family visits both at home and on the road without extra testing.
The NBA considers a member of an organization fully vaccinated one week after receiving the second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
During a recent practice, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said the team was yet to reach the 85% threshold. “Well I can say we’re not at the 85% but I don’t really want to comment any further on what percent of our guys have been vaccinated,” he said.
“But I don’t believe we’re near the 85%, which that’s a number that applies to your whole group, not just players in uniform.”
Despite the team still working on vaccinating the players and staff, L.A. is finally getting healthier. Anthony Davis has returned from his Achilles injury after a two-month break for Thursday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Davis felt ‘ripping’ when suffering his Achilles injury
Davis missed 30 games due to the injury, although the forward worried he could be ruled out for much more when he suffered the strain on Feb. 14. In the moment, the 28-year-old thought he tore the tendon after feeling a “ripping” sensation.
“I felt pain there before going through the process of the first time I injured it, but the second time, I hate to say it, I never tore an Achilles, but I kind of felt like sharp pain and like it was ripping kind of, which I never felt before,” Davis explained.
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