The NBA shut down in March when Rudy Gobert became its first player to test positive for coronavirus.
More than three months later, with the league now preparing for a return, the Jazz center is still experiencing its effects.
“The taste has returned, but the smell is still not 100 percent,” Gobert recently told L’Equipe in his native France, as translated by HoopsHype. “I can smell the smells, but not from afar. I spoke to specialists, who told me that it could take up to a year.”
A loss of taste and smell is one of the virus’ symptoms. The 28-year-old Gobert is still expected to play when the NBA resumes its season in Orlando on July 30.
The NBA tested 302 players last Tuesday and 16 tested positive, the league said Friday.
The Jazz announced on March 27 that Gobert and teammate Donovan Mitchell had both been cleared of the virus. Gobert was the NBA’s patient zero, with his positive test coming back the night of March 11, immediately leading the NBA to suspend its season.
The virus wasn’t Gobert’s only problem, though. He was also reportedly “careless” in the Jazz’s locker room leading up to his diagnosis. It caused a reported rift with Mitchell, who later tested positive, and The Athletic reported that their relationship “doesn’t appear salvageable.” But with the resumption of the season now on the horizon, the two have worked to mend the relationship.
“I think right now, we’re in good shape,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder recently said on ESPN’s “First Take.” “Those guys are getting ready to play, they’re as excited as anybody on our team or anybody in the league.”
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