Al Horford declares he’s vaccinated, can play if Boston faces Toronto


The most likely scenario for the Celtics is the finish as the No. 3 seed and face the No. 6 Bulls in the first round of the playoffs (with the way Chicago has stumbled of late, that may be the best scenario for Boston as well).

However, there is still a chance that Boston will face Toronto in the first round, which sparked a report Al Horford and Jaylen Brown were not vaccinated and could not play in road games that series (the Celtics will not answer the question about if players are unvaccinated, leading to speculation). Friday, Horford denied that report saying he was vaccinated, via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

“I think with the Celtics, we made it clear we’re not going to discuss those things, and it’s a health matter, and we all respect everybody’s individual perspectives. That’s why I’m not going to get into it and talk about it. But I’m ready to go.”

The Celtics did not bring Horford, Brown and Jayson Tatum to Canada when the team made a recent trip to take on the Raptors — that’s where the speculation started. Canada requires proof of vaccination to travel without restrictions in the country (unvaccinated people must quarantine for 14 days before they can move about the nation).

Tatum has said multiple times he is vaccinated. Horford now has said he is as well. As a board member of the players’ union, Brown said he would not discuss any player’s vaccination status, including his own. He had said he is ready to play against anybody, but he will not discuss his vaccination status.

Not having Brown for a series against the Raptors would hurt Boston, who is already without center Robert Williams III for the first round, he has undergone surgery to repair his meniscus.

The most likely scenario is for Philadelphia to face Toronto in the first round, which means Sixers’ starter and key defensive player Matisse Thybulle may miss the games (the team listed him as “ineligible to play” when it traveled to face the Raptors this week).