Zach LaVine clears COVID protocols, to join Team USA in Tokyo

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.

LaVine was , 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 with Australia due to initial exposures, too.

The basketball team isn’t unique, either. An , and tennis star .

Japan is averaging more than 3,300 new cases of the coronavirus each day as of Wednesday morning, — which is a 103% increase over the past two weeks. Only about 22% of the country is fully vaccinated, too.

Despite all of the issues, the Olympics are pressing forward — starting with the opening ceremony on Friday. Team USA will kick off the Group stage with a game against France on Sunday.

United States' Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine should join Team USA on Thursday, just ahead of the opening ceremony. (AP/John Locher)

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