Wednesday, October 5 2022
Matisse Thybulle Philadelphia 76ers
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The Philadelphia 76ers will be without their best perimeter defender when they take on the Raptors in Toronto on Thursday night, as forward Matisse Thybulle is listed as “ineligible to play” on the NBA‘s official injury report. No reason was provided as to why Thybulle is ineligible, but it could be related to Canada’s rules regarding COVID-19 vaccination. 

Starting earlier this season, a Canadian vaccine mandate was put into effect that prevents unvaccinated road players from entering the country. Thus, if Thybulle is unvaccinated, he would indeed be ineligible to play in Toronto. Thybulle has never publicly commented on his vaccination status, and the Sixers recently declined to acknowledge whether or not the roster is fully vaccinated. 

Normally, a player missing a single game wouldn’t be a big deal, but Thybulle’s situation is especially noteworthy since there’s a legitimate chance that the Sixers and Raptors will meet in the first round of the postseason. In fact, if the playoffs started today, that’s exactly what would happen, as Philadelphia currently occupies the fourth seed and Toronto is in fifth. If that matchup ultimately comes to fruition, Thybulle wouldn’t be able to play in any of the games in Toronto if he’s unvaccinated. 

The Sixers and Raptors both have three games remaining on their respective schedules, so seeding could certainly change before the end of the regular season. But if it doesn’t, Thybulle’s availability could become a major storyline early in the postseason. 

Source: CBSSports.com

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