Sources: Chris Paul intends to return for Game 3 after clearing COVID-19 protocols

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LOS ANGELES — Barring an unforeseen setback, Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul plans to make his return to postseason action for Game 3 on Thursday of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Paul underwent a cardio exam Wednesday morning and passed, which is the final step to clearing the league’s health and safety protocols, sources said. Paul has been in the protocols since June 16.

The 36-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 last week despite having been vaccinated, sources said.

Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns directs the offense in the first half in Game Three of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Ball Arena on June 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Chris Paul is expected to return for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

He found out the news upon arriving in Los Angeles after sweeping the Denver Nuggets and has been quarantining ever since.

The trip to L.A. was to surprise his wife and kids, sources said. Yahoo Sports reported prior that Paul was asymptomatic. How he contracted the virus is still a mystery, sources said.

The Suns hold a 2-0 lead with the series shifting to L.A. for Games 3 and 4 and are winners of nine in a row. Phoenix took care of business with its leader on the mend and is now getting him back at a favorable juncture with the Clippers still without Kawhi Leonard, who is nursing a right knee sprain.

Paul, 36, averaged 25.5 points, 10.2 assists and five rebounds in the previous series against Denver.

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