Celts add 5 players to protocols; 8 out vs. Bucks

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The Boston Celtics had another five players officially enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols Friday afternoon, further battering one of the hardest-hit rosters in the league as the omicron variant of COVID-19 sweeps through the NBA.

Guard C.J. Miles, forwards Aaron Nesmith and Justin Jackson, and centers Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando were all added to the protocols, bringing Boston’s current official count of players in protocols to 12 ahead of Saturday’s Christmas Day showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Eight players — those five plus guard Josh Richardson and forwards Sam Hauser and Grant Williams — will be out for Saturday’s game. Another four — guard Brodric Thomas, forwards Jabari Parker and Juancho Hernangomez and center Al Horford — are questionable to play because of the protocols after entering them last week.

Meanwhile, guards Marcus Smart (hip contusion) and Romeo Langford (Achilles tendinopathy) are questionable because of injuries.

The Celtics are just one of several teams playing on Christmas Day dealing with a slew of absences due to COVID-19, including the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.

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