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Reports: Mallory Pugh cleared 10-day ahead of NWSL Championship game

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Mallory Pugh will return to the pitch for the NWSL Championship game after clearing league COVID-19 protocols.

The Red Stars forward and teammate Kayla Sharples missed the team’s semifinal match against the Portland Thorns due to COVID-19 guidelines. League sources are now confirming that Pugh and Sharples entered COVID-19 protocol after the team’s Nov. 7 quarterfinal, clearing the 10-day isolation window ahead of the NWSL title game.

Sharples spoke out during Chicago’s semifinal, tweeting that she was fully vaccinated with a booster shot, writing, “I’m sad to say that I won’t be able to play in today’s semifinal due to COVID protocols.”

Pugh has not publicly commented on her vaccination status or on the COVID-19 protocol. It has not been confirmed if either player tested positive for COVID-19 or if they were under protocol for exposure.

Coach Rory Dames said on Monday that Pugh and Sharples were symptom-free during their isolation but expressed uncertainty around their participation in the final until just a day before the championship.

NWSL medical protocols outline that if a player tests positive for COVID-19, then they must enter and clear a 10-day quarantine period. If a player does not test positive but was only exposed, then they may return to the team after producing negative tests on day five and day seven of isolation.

The Chicago Red Stars will take on the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Championship at 12 p.m. ET on CBS.