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Austin Rivers returns to Rockets

The absence was short-lived, which means Rivers should be eligible to play again soon.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

It was reported yesterday that Austin Rivers would miss the first bubble scrimmage for the Houston Rockets due to a family emergency. That absence would also have the potential to leave his status for next Friday’s season opener up in the air, based upon the date he returns and the length of quarantine required (between 4-10 days).

Well, the Rockets have already received some good news on that front, as Rivers sent out on his Instagram this morning that he’s already back with the team.

That means Rivers very well could be eligible for Houston’s bubble opener on July 31 against the Dallas Mavericks. If a player’s absence is approved — and it sounds like Rivers’ was — and in particular if it’s local — and it also sounds like Rivers’ family were in the local area — then he’ll have to quarantine for no more than four days.

If he did have to leave the local area, things might be different, and I’m sure we’ll hear some concrete info this week, but being that he was away from the team for just a single day, it seems likely to be local. Which should mean we’ll see Rivers in the opener.

He’ll be much-needed. When the Rockets went to their bench in last night’s scrimmage loss to the Toronto Raptors, they played Chris Clemons, who shot 0-6 in 10 minutes and was a -12. Once things start for real, those minutes will be going to Rivers and DeMarre Carroll, who was also absent with last night with a hamstring injury.

Welcome back, Austin. We hope everything is ok with your family.