Malik Monk, Dwight Howard placed in health and safety protocol

Malik Monk
Malik Monk, Dwight Howard, and Talen Horton-Tucker are expected to miss extended time to COVID (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers may be in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak. Hours after Talen Horton-Tucker was placed in the health and safety protocols and prompted the team to cancel practice, Malik Monk and Dwight Howard were added to the list of players who have tested positive for the virus.

The team does not technically disclose if players have tested positive but per new NBA guidelines, vaccinated players are only forced to quarantine if they themselves test positive. The Lakers have maintained that the entire team is fully vaccinated.

After Horton-Tucker tested positive earlier on Tuesday morning, players were prompted to take both a rapid and PCR test before the team’s flight to Dallas where they are set to face off against the Mavericks on Wednesday.

Dwight Howard did not make that trip, according to the team (nor did THT) but Monk did fly to Dallas. That could potentially mean that he tested negative on the rapid test and positive on the PCR test. The team has said they are arranging for a safe way to get Monk back to Los Angeles.

Players can be taken off health and safety protocols if they register consecutive negative tests within 24 hours of their positive test, which would indicate a false positive was received. That scenario played out with LeBron James earlier this season.

If they do not test negatively consecutively, then players must remain quarantined for at least 10 days, a period of time which would see the trio (and perhaps others) miss games against the Mavs, Timberwolves, Bulls, Suns and Spurs.

The Lakers will be without Horton-Tucker, Howard, Monk, Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn against the Mavs on Wednesday (Dallas will be without star Luka Doncic). Anthony Davis is also listed as questionable with knee soreness that has kept him out of two straight games.

Teams are required to have eight active players in order to play games.

The Chicago Bulls recently had two games postponed due to an outbreak of the disease within their team.

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