By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics will finally get their franchise player back Monday night. Jayson Tatum is returning to the Boston lineup when the C’s pay a visit to the Chicago Bulls.

Tatum missed his fifth straight game Sunday night due to NBA health and safety protocols, but Boston head coach Brad Stevens said prior to his team’s 141-109 blowout win over the Cavaliers that he anticipates Tatum will be back in the lineup Monday night. Tatum’s return was set in stone when he was not included on the team’s injury report Monday afternoon.

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Boston’s tilt against the Bulls will be Tatum’s first game back since he scored 32 points in a win over the Washington Wizards back on Jan. 8. Tatum tested positive for COVID-19 after that game was was immediately placed in the league’s health and safety protocols. He’s been out of quarantine since last week and working his way back into playing shape. Stevens said that Tatum went through a physical practice over the weekend, so hopefully he’s not too rusty in his return.

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The Celtics went 2-3 in Tatum’s absence, dropping three straight before snapping that skid Sunday night against the Cavaliers. The Celtics also had three games postponed during Tatum’s absence.

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For the season, the 22-year-old Tatum is averaging 26.9 points off 47 percent shooting to go with 7.1 rebounds per game.

CBSBoston.com Staff