Gobert clears protocols after 5-game absence

11:41 AM ET

ESPN News Services

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and reserve forward Rudy Gay have cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols and returned to practice Friday.

The Jazz went 1-4 with a 120.8 defensive rating without their All-NBA big man, who tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed in protocols on Jan. 6.

Gobert, who is averaging 15.5 points, 15.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this season, told reporters after Friday’s practice that he’s targeting a return against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

Gay, who was placed in protocols on Sunday, is averaging 9.2 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Gobert also tested positive for the virus on March 11, 2020, the night that the NBA shut down for more than four months and ultimately decided to finish its season inside a bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida.

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