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Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson has surgery on torn Achilles; full recovery expected



Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson underwent surgery on Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery from a season-ending tear to his right Achilles tendon, a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Dr. Richard Ferkel, a noted specialist on ankle injuries, performed the surgery in Los Angeles and it was considered a success, the source said.

Thompson, a five-time All-Star, tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout with several NBA players last week in Southern California. He had an MRI the next morning that revealed the severity of the injury.

Thompson, 30, missed all of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. The Warriors were optimistic that Thompson, who has spent more than a year rehabbing the injury, would come back at full strength for the 2020-21 season. Now they will spend another season without him on the court.

The injury is a huge blow for the Warriors, who were an NBA-worst 15-50 last season as they struggled without Thompson and Stephen Curry, who had a broken left hand that sidelined him for more than four months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The NBA and COVID-19 – Game postponements, latest news and updates



The NBA continues to grapple with COVID-19-related and contact-tracing issues. The league’s health and safety protocols have sidelined players; games have been postponed; and teams have been forced to take the court with the minimum eight active players.

Amid thinning rosters and growing concern across the league, the NBA has no plans to pause the season, a league spokesman told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

As the situation evolves, here is everything to know about how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting the NBA:

Game postponements

Here is every game postponed this season due to the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. No makeup dates have been set.

  • Dec. 23: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets

  • Jan. 10: Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

  • Jan. 11: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks

  • Jan. 12: Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls

  • Jan. 13: Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics

Will the league shut down the season? Is another bubble a possibility? Our NBA Insiders dive into the biggest questions facing commissioner Adam Silver and the league right now.

NBA teams are posting historically inconsistent numbers. ESPN NBA Insider Kevin Pelton explains why.

In one weekend, the Sixers competed with just seven players and Heat-Celtics was postponed. And they weren’t the first teams impacted.

News and analysis: How COVID-19 is impacting the NBA

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Added NBA protocols to prohibit non-team guests in hotel rooms, require masks on bench



As the NBA tightened coronavirus protocols to try to preserve a season teetering amid positive tests, thinning rosters and game postponements, the league made a dramatic change that most franchises had wanted all along: the closing off of rooms to non-team guests in road hotels.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association on Tuesday reached agreement on several more revisions to policy, including the league further limiting movement for players and staffs on road trips. The league is no longer allowing players and staff to leave hotels for non-team activities, and it is eliminating visitors to hotel rooms, which one GM had told ESPN had been “the Mack truck driving through all our protocols.”

Players were previously allowed to have up to two guests in hotel rooms, including those who were family members and long-standing personal friends.

The NBA has had to postpone four games this week, including three involving the Boston Celtics, who are unable to muster eight eligible players because of COVID-19 issues. Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington and Chicago are among teams who have had significant losses of active players due to positive tests and contact tracing.

Beyond the changes involving guests on the road, the two sides agreed to several other things to tighten the protocols amid several teams having large clusters of players either testing positive for COVID-19 or being caught up in contact tracing as a result of those positive tests.

Until at least Jan. 26, when teams are in their home markets, both players and staff must remain at home unless they are going to a team-related activity, exercising outside, performing essential activities or “as a result of extraordinary circumstances.”

They also are supposed to limit away-from-work interactions to family, household members and personal staff working in their home.

Anyone who regularly visits the home of a player or staff member must have two COVID-19 tests per week. Meanwhile, teams that have either players who tested positive or a high-risk staff member may require players and team staff to undergo five consecutive days of twice-a-day lab-based testing, in addition to daily point-of-care tests.

Also until at least Jan. 26, pregame meetings in the locker room can last no more than 10 minutes. Every other meeting involving players and staff must happen either on the court, in a league-approved space, or in an arena in a room big enough for everyone involved to be at least 6 feet apart. Everyone at these meetings must wear masks at all times.

Players are now not allowed to arrive at the arena more than three hours before tip on game days. Meanwhile, pregame and postgame interactions with players must be limited to elbow or fist bumps, extended socializing should be avoided and 6 feet of distance should be maintained as much as possible.

On team flights, teams now must structure their seating charts on planes to mimic their seating charts for the benches during games, while all treatment sessions at hotels — including massages and physical therapy — need to occur in large, open spaces and with 12 feet between stations. These interactions also require both masks and face shields.

Players now also must wear masks on the bench at all times. There will be a cool-down period when a player checks out of a game, with a designated area where they don’t immediately need to wear a mask. However, once a player has done so, they have to go back to their seat and wear a mask until they are put back into the game.

They must also now always wear masks in the locker room, when doing strength and conditioning and when traveling with anyone who isn’t a household member.

Coaches and staff continue to have to always wear masks during games.

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Boston Celtics’ third straight game off due to COVID



Coronavirus issues continue to impact the Boston Celtics, with the league announcing that their game against the Orlando Magic Wednesday has been postponed.

The Magic and Celtics were scheduled to play Wednesday and Friday in Boston, but the Magic won’t be traveling Tuesday, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The status of the second game is not immediately clear.

The NBA said in a statement that due to coronavirus testing and contact tracing the Celtics didn’t have the required eight players to stage the game.

This will be the third straight game the Celtics have had postponed due to COVID issues. They were supposed to play the Heat Sunday and the Bulls Tuesday night.

Five NBA games have now been postponed this season due to coronavirus issues, with four of those coming in the last week.

Sources told Wojnarowski that the NBA and players’ union are working on tightening protocols, including: No hugging or interacting with rival players on court pre- and post-game, reducing social interactions during games, such as tapping hands during free throws and enforcing mask wearing on the bench by players and coaches.

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