Two other Toronto Raptors players absent for COVID-19 health and safety reasons

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Two other Toronto Raptors players absent for COVID-19 health and safety reasons


TAMPA, Florida – The Toronto Raptors are grappling with more COVID-19 issues.

Paul Watson and DeAndre ‘Bembry were sidelined for Friday’s game against the visiting Phoenix Suns over COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Over the past month, five other Raptors players and six coaches also ran out of time because of protocols.

“There’s no kind of slack or lax attitude, it’s probably the other way around,” coach Nick Nurse said of the lingering health issues. “Hopefully it’s not long or too serious with these guys. We’re still working on the protocols and everything.

“It’s another setback there, but we’ll try to do our best without them.”

The nurse said he had spoken to Watson and Bembry and that they were “both fine which is good”.

The Raptors’ COVID-19 issues were a primary reason for their nine-game losing streak, Toronto’s longest in a decade. They finally broke it on Wednesday and finished 11th in the NBA Eastern Conference standings heading into Friday’s game.

Toronto gave guard Norman Powell, potentially a free agent after this season, to Portland for guards Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood just before yesterday’s NBA trade deadline.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 26, 2021.

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