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Injured Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant placed in NBA's COVID-19 protocols

Injured Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant placed in NBA's COVID-19 protocols
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, shown Feb. 12, 2021, was already ruled out for Wednesday's game against the Dallas Mavericks due to a knee injury. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols, the team announced Wednesday.

Morant was already ruled out for the Grizzlies' matchup against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night because of a knee injury. He has been out of the lineup since Nov. 26, when he suffered a sprained left knee.

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Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said at the time that Morant was expected to be out at least a "couple of weeks" due to the knee ailment. The injured guard was set to miss the Grizzlies' three remaining games this week, and his placement into the protocols could push back his return timeline even further.

Morant, the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year, said in September that he received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Under the league's protocols, players who have tested positive for the coronavirus must remain in isolation for a minimum of 10 days or until they return at least two negative PCR tests 24 hours apart.

Morant has averaged career highs in points (24.1), rebounds (5.6) and steals (1.6) across 19 games this season for the Grizzlies. He also is averaging 6.8 assists per game while shooting 47.6% from the field and a career-best 35.6% from 3-point range.

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In Morant's absence, the Grizzlies have rattled off a five-game winning streak entering Wednesday's game against the Mavericks. That streak included a record 73-point blowout against the Oklahoma City Thunder last week.

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