BOSTON (CBS) —  Just when it looked like the Celtics would actually have the whole team for at least one game, COVID-19 rears its ugly head. Point guard Payton Pritchard has been placed in the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocol and ruled out for Wednesday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs in Boston.

Pritchard had seen an uptick in playing time over the last two-and-a-half weeks as Boston dealt with a slew of COVID-19 cases on the roster. He was making the most out of those minutes too, averaging 11.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists over his last eight games, including a pair of starts. He was finally working his way into Ime Udoka’s rotation after playing sparingly for a six-week stretch.

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But now he’s in protocol and will have to miss at least the next five days.

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At least Boston’s COVID issues are lightening elsewhere on the roster. Star forward Jayson Tatum is slated to make his return Wednesday night after a stint in protocol, and Boston has announced that swingman Aaron Nesmith is also available against the Spurs after clearing protocol on Wednesday.

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The Celtics are currently 18-19 on the season, but start a five-game stretch against sub-.500 teams on Wednesday. Staff