Zach LaVine clears COVID-19 health and safety protocols, will join Team USA in Tokyo

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Zach LaVine is preparing to rejoin Team USA in Tokyo.

The Chicago Bulls star has cleared health and safety protocols, and is set to join the team in Japan on Thursday ahead of the Olympics, the team announced on Tuesday night. The United States is a heavy favorite to win the gold medal at -350 with BetMGM.

LaVine was placed in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols on Monday, and did not fly with the team to Tokyo. USA Basketball said at the time that LaVine’s placement in protocols was out of “an abundance of caution,” though it did not specify why LaVine was placed there.

Team USA, Olympics struggling with COVID-19

LaVine is just the latest Team USA member to deal with COVID-19 protocols already this year.

Forward Jerami Grant was placed in protocols last week, but is still on the team’s roster. Bradley Beal was placed there, too, and will miss the Games entirely. The team also was forced to cancel an exhibition game against Australia due to initial exposures as well.

The basketball team's troubles aren’t unique, either. An alternate on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team tested positive, and tennis star Coco Gauff had to withdraw after she tested positive.

Japan is averaging more than 3,300 new cases of the coronavirus each day as of Wednesday morning, according to The New York Times — which is a 103% increase over the past two weeks. Less than 30% of the country is fully vaccinated, too.

Despite all of the issues, the Olympics are pressing forward. Team USA will tip off the group stage with a game against France on Sunday.

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