Josh Richardson re-enters COVID health and safety protocols after being cleared last week

Richardson scored a season-high 27 points on Saturday.

Josh Richardson COVID
Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson dribbles the ball up the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks. AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Celtics guard Josh Richardson is back in health and safety protocols, according to the team.

Richardson was cleared for the last two games by multiple negative COVID tests, and he scored a season-high 27 points against the Knicks on Saturday. A positive test forced him to miss the last game of the team’s recent West Coast trip, and he was forced to quarantine inside an AirBnb in Phoenix — remaining behind while the team returned home to play the Bucks.

“I found out I tested positive or whatever the morning of the [Suns] game [on Dec. 10],” Richardson said. “They left, and I was just chilling, staying back for four days. Watched a lot of film, slept a lot. My Xbox was broke too, so that made it a lot worse. I couldn’t play the game like I wanted to. But I was just on a bike, I had a little weight room, so I was all right.”


Richardson struggled with COVID in January while playing for the Mavericks, but he was non-committal to reporters about his vaccine status at media day. Per the NBA’s protocols, unvaccinated players must quarantine for seven days after close contact with a player who tested positive.

On Saturday, a reporter asked Richardson whether he was surprised he tested negative so quickly. Richardson said he wasn’t, but he declined to elaborate further.

“When I came back that first game, I was a little worried about my wind and how I was going to be able to hold up,” Richardson said. “Because it’s hard to simulate a game, game shape. I was pushing myself when I was out, but I was thankful for being able to get those two negative tests quickly and come back. I held up better than I thought I would.”

The Celtics now have seven players officially out for Monday’s game against the 76ers. Three more are questionable — Jayson Tatum, Dennis Schröder and Romeo Langford. The eight available players are Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith, Bruno Fernando, Enes Freedom and Justin Jackson. They could still add players via the hardship exception.


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