Two more Toronto Raptors players out because of COVID-19 health and safety reasons

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Toronto Raptors are dealing with more COVID-19 issues.

Paul Watson and DeAndre' Bembry were sidelined for Friday's game against the visiting Phoenix Suns for COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

In the past month, five other Raptors players and six coaches also have missed time because of protocols.

"There is no kind of let-up or lax attitude, it’s probably the other way around," coach Nick Nurse said of the ongoing health issues. "Hopefully it’s not long or too serious with these guys. We’re still working through the protocols and stuff.

"It’s another setback there, but we’ll try to do our best without them.”

Nurse said he'd talked to Watson and Bembry and they were "both doing well, which is good."

The Raptors' COVID-19 problems were a big reason for their nine-game losing streak, Toronto's longest in a decade. They finally snapped it on Wednesday and were 11th in the NBA Eastern Conference standings heading into Friday's game.

Toronto dealt guard Norman Powell, potentially a free agent after this season, to Portland for guards Gary Trent Jr., and Rodney Hood just prior to yesterday's NBA trade deadline.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press