Jayson Tatum to Return for Bulls Game, Kemba Walker Out

Tatum is back: Celtics star to play vs. Bulls after long absence originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jayson Tatum's weeks-long hiatus finally will end Monday night.

The Celtics forward is off the team's injury report and is expected to play in Boston's road game against the Chicago Bulls after missing the previous five games.

Tatum hasn't played since Jan. 8 after testing positive for COVID-19 following a win over the Washington Wizards. The C's went 2-3 in that span and lost twice to the rival Philadelphia 76ers, so they'll be glad to have their All-Star back in the mix.

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Boston won't be at full strength Monday, however. Kemba Walker has been ruled out due to "left knee rehabilitation," which is translation for load management on the second night of a back-to-back.

The trio of Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Walker still hasn't played a game together this season, as Walker made his season debut last Sunday after recovering from an offseason knee procedure.

Brown has carried the load and then some for Boston's offense without Walker and Tatum: He ranks sixth in the NBA in scoring at 27.3 points per game and averaged 29.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists over the five games Tatum missed.

NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Bulls begins at 8 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live ahead of a 9 p.m. ET tip-off at the United Center.

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