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McMillan enters health and safety protocols, several players cleared to return

Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks continue to battle a Covid outbreak within the team, and some news dropped on that front on Saturday evening. The Hawks have announced head coach Nate McMillan has entered health and safety protocols, while Atlanta could get some players back ahead of Monday’s game vs. the Portland Trail Blazers. Assistant coach Joe Prunty will man the Hawks’ staff in the absence of McMillan and lead assistant Chris Jent per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Kevin Huerter, Onyeka Okongwu, Danilo Gallinari, Delon Wright, Sharife Cooper and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot have all cleared protocols and will join the team in Portland.

This will obviously provide a huge boost to the rotation if these guys are going to be ready to go Monday in Portland. It remains to be seen if any of these players will be held out for conditioning or placed on any sort minutes restrictions.

The Hawks have played their last handful of games shorthanded and that will continue as even if these guys are activated ahead of Monday’s game. John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Gorgui Dieng and Jalen Johnson are still trying to register negative tests so they can clear protocols and get back on the floor. Atlanta will have four road games in seven days starting Monday and can use all of the depth they can get as this extended undermanned stretch has no doubt been difficult for everyone involved.

Stay tuned.