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Aron Baynes cleared of coronavirus, on way to join Suns

Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets moves past the defense of Aron Baynes 46 of the Phoenix Suns during their home opener at Pepsi Center on October 25, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Lizzy Barrett/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes has cleared coronavirus protocols and is en route Monday to join his team in the Orlando bubble, the team said.

Baynes told The Athletic’s Shams Charania last week that he’d not touched a basketball for 30 days and he continued to test positive for the virus. Charania first reported

The center said he was isolated from his family and that he suffered symptoms severe enough to be in bed around four days. He was required to test negative twice to be cleared for a trip to Orlando, but once in the Disney World bubble he will be quarantined and then must get into basketball shape in order to play.

“I’m still not (testing negative),” he said in a video from last Wednesday. “I’m in protocol where I have the antibodies that we’ve tested, I have antibodies so I’m not contagious, but I still need those negatives because, end of the day, that’s the criteria the NBA has set up.”

The center told Charania that he had not gone through an intense workout until last week.

Baynes averaged 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in 48 games for Phoenix this season. He made 28 starts, most of those as fellow center Deandre Ayton served a 25-game suspension. Baynes also shot a career-high 35% from three-point range on four attempts per game, adding a different dimension to Phoenix’s offense.

The backup big man’s availability would give the Suns a boost to their bench, especially after starting power forward Dario Saric went down in a scrimmage Sunday with a left ankle injury.

The severity of Saric’s injury is currently unknown.

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