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How long is Chris Paul out? Timeline, return date, latest updates on Suns star

Three days after their series-clinching victory over the Nuggets, the Suns lost one of their best players indefinitely. And it wasn’t because of injury.

Chris Paul tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, June 16. That means he’s out while the Suns prepare to compete in the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2010.

Paul is one of the team’s best players and a valuable leader. The veteran point guard averaged 16.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game in the regular season. If he is forced to miss time during the West finals, that will damage Phoenix’s chances of making the NBA Finals.

Here are the details about Paul’s absence, including the latest updates on when he might return to action during the 2021 NBA playoffs.

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How long will Chris Paul be out?

Paul’s COVID-related absence was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic on June 16. Charania reported then that Paul was out “for an indefinite period of time.” 

In addition to the positive test, Paul caught an unfortunate break when the Clippers erased a 25-point deficit against the Jazz and dispatched Utah in six games Friday. Had the Jazz won, the Western Conference finals would have started Tuesday. Instead, they’ll start Sunday.

And according to Charania, Paul will miss Game 1 of the series as a result of his positive test.

This wasn’t a surprise. Paul was still in the league’s health and safety protocols as of Saturday, with no timetable for a return. 

The Suns will now wait and see if he’ll be available for Game 2.

Paul’s vaccination status may have an impact on that. John Gambadoro of Phoenix radio station KMVP reported that Paul was vaccinated in February with other Suns players.

As such, his quarantine time may be shorter than that of an unvaccinated player, which is 10 to 14 days.

Why is Chris Paul out?

Paul entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19. News of the test was reported June 16.

Paul reportedly has been vaccinated. His timetable for return is uncertain.

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Chris Paul COVID timeline

It was reported June 16 that Paul was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and would be out indefinitely.

Later that day, John Gambadoro of Phoenix radio station KMVP reported that Paul tested positive for COVID-19.

The Western Conference finals will begin June 20, two days after the Clippers defeated the Jazz behind Terance Mann’s 39 points in Game 6 of the conference semifinals. As of June 19, Paul was still in the league’s health and safety protocols with no timetable for a return. He will miss Game 1 of the Clippers-Suns series.

Chris Paul COVID updates

— June 19: Charania reports that Paul will be out for Game 1 of the Suns-Clippers series.

— June 19: Paul remains in the health and safety protocols with no timetable for a return. The Western Conference finals are scheduled to start June 20, making it likely that Paul will miss at least part of the series.

— June 16: Shams Charania reports that Paul entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols. John Gambadoro reports later that Paul tested positive for COVID-19.



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