Boston Celtics big man Al Horford said Wednesday that, if his team faces the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs, he’ll be in uniform. Players will not be allowed to cross the border if they are not fully vaccinated, and neither Horford nor Boston’s Jaylen Brown made the trip to Toronto for Monday’s game. (Jayson Tatum, who said on media day that he is vaccinated, also missed the game.)
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The Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers declined to tell ESPN’s Tim Bontemps whether or not they are fully vaccinated. Before Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat, Boston coach Ime Udoka said, “Obviously, Canada changed their rules. But we are looking at our guys available to play. All our guys, if healthy, they’re available to play.”
Unvaccinated players can make themselves eligible for a potential series in Toronto by getting the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot two weeks before traveling there. The playoffs will begin on April 16, and the Raptors will likely host a game around April 20. They are sixth in the East with six games left on the schedule, an identical record to the fifth-place Bulls and a two-game cushion on the seventh-place Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics are fourth in the East, in a virtual tie with Philadelphia and 2.5 games ahead of Toronto and Chicago.