The Toronto Raptors were finally moving closer to full health after the return of OG Anunoby, but the Raptors found out that Pascal Siakam and Dalano Banton would not be able to suit up just minutes before what ended up being a dominant win against the Golden State Warriors.
Siakam and Banton were both placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. With the Bulls requiring several postponements and the Nets currently saddled with 10 players in the protocols, teams around the NBA are starting to feel the combined sting of the omicron variant and the winter months.
A Raptors team that was ravaged by COVID-19 on top of playing home games in Tampa last season knows all too well the severity of this virus and how it can upset the rhythm of a team. Toronto is now without arguably their best offensive player and a key bench piece.
The league’s health and safety protocols could keep the pair sidelined for quite a while. With how small NBA rosters are and how transmissible the virus can be, it makes sense that the NBA is willing to proceed with so much caution. How long will it take before Siakam and Banton are back in Toronto?
When will Pascal Siakam and Dalano Banton rejoin the Toronto Raptors?
There are two routes that Siakam and Banton could use to rejoin the team if they tested positive. They could either wait 10 days before resuming basketball activities or post two negative tests in a 24 hour period.
A false positive or a speedy recovery for either of these players means that they could potentially return to the team in a few days if they continue to test negative. If not, prepare for a long stretch of games without either of them on the floor.
If they wait the 10 days, Siakam and Banton would return for a New Year’s Eve game against the Los Angeles Clippers. They would miss the next four games.
Though more than 60% of the NBA has received a booster shot, the league is resuming daily testing for players who have not received the shot. With so much of the league in the health and safety protocols, the NBA needs to find out how much the virus has spread.
At the end of the day, fans want everyone to be kept safe and the number of cases to start trickling down. Raptors fans may not get to see Siakam out on the floor for a while, but if this is what it takes to keep as many people as healthy as possible, Toronto must abide by these rules.