Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum missed Monday’s 108-103 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves as he entered Covid-19 health and safety protocols; Marcus Smart sat out because of a hand laceration he suffered in a Christmas Day loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Tatum joined Dennis Schröder, Josh RichardsonAaron NesmithBruno FernandoEnes FreedomJustin Jackson and C.J. Miles in Covid protocol. Grant Williams and Al Horford were cleared to return, and neither player will have a minutes restriction.

“It’s been the story of the year,” coach Ime Udoka said. “Lose a few, get a few back. So we’ll mix and match until further notice. Jayson is a big one, but it’s been piecing the puzzle together all year.”

Tatum was sidelined for nearly three weeks last January after testing positive for COVID and said he dealt with aftereffects for about three months — even using an inhaler before games. He’s averaging 25.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season but shooting a career-low 41.7% percent from the field and 32.9% from three-point land.

“It’s definitely a unique circumstance, like anything this league or this world has ever seen,” he said following Saturday’s loss. “I think unfortunately it’s kind of like the new normal, and it’s not just us, it’s everybody in the league. Every day it’s kind of like a toss-up, trying to figure out who’s going to be there, who’s available, who’s out. Just a lot of uncertainty.

“But I think at the end of the day it’s our job. Whoever’s available, whoever we’ve got, we’ve got to go out there and try to figure it out.”

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