Chris Paul out for Game 1 of Western Conference finals due to COVID-19 protocol

The Phoenix Suns will be without Chris Paul when they kick off the Western Conference finals on Sunday.

Paul, the team announced on Saturday, is out for Game 1 against the Los Angeles Clippers and is still in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

It's unclear when Paul will be able to return.

Paul entered health and safety protocols on Wednesday, after the Suns had already closed out their earlier series against the Denver Nuggets.

The 36-year-old has not publicly said if he has been vaccinated yet, and he called it a “personal-type decision” in March. The Athletic’s Shams Charania, however, said that Paul’s “isolation period could be shorter for a vaccinated individual" when reporting on it earlier this week.

Paul has averaged 15.7 points, 8.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds so far in the postseason for the Suns, who have gone an impressive 8-2. Game 1 of their series with the Clippers — who beat the top-seeded Utah Jazz 4-2 in their series that ended on Friday night — is set for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Phoenix.

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul
Chris Paul entered COVID-19 health and safety protocols on Wednesday. (AP/David Zalubowski)

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