Giannis Antetokounmpo clears COVID protocols, could play Christmas Day

Giannis Antetokounmpo mean-mugs the crowd after making a shot against the Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Giannis Antetokounmpo could be returning to action for the Milwaukee Bucks just in time for Christmas, as he isn't listed on the Bucks’ injury report for Saturday's game.

That doesn’t guarantee the two-time MVP will be back on the court for the holiday matchup against the Boston Celtics after spending time in the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The Bucks said Thursday that his absence from the injury report means he is available to play, but added things could change before the game.

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Milwaukee has gone 3-2 over the five-game stretch without Antetokounmpo. He ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring (27.0) and sixth in rebounding (11.6).

The Bucks’ injury report also doesn’t include forward Bobby Portis, and lists guard Donte DiVincenzo as questionable due to the health and safety protocols.

Portis hasn’t played since Dec. 15 due to the protocols. DiVincenzo hasn’t played since tearing a ligament in his left ankle in a first-round playoff series with Miami last season, but he was expected to make his season debut just before the protocols made him unavailable last week.

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