The effects of COVID-19 have hit Boston Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum pretty hard. While speaking with media members on Tuesday, Tatum explained how he’s had trouble breathing normally during games since he was diagnosed with the virus earlier this year.
“I think it messes with your breathing a little bit,” Tatum said, via ESPN. “I have experienced some games where, I don’t want to say [I was] struggling to breathe, but, you know, you get fatigued a lot quicker than normal. Just running up and down the court a few times, it’s easier to get out of breath or tired a lot faster. I’ve noticed that since I’ve had COVID. It’s just something I’m working on. It’s gotten better since the first game I played, but I still deal with it from time to time.
“And it’s not like every game where I feel it the whole game,” Tatum added. “It’s just certain stretches where breathing is a little out of whack, and I talk to the medical staff and coaching staff about it. It’s gotten better, obviously, from the first game I came back and played… I guess it’s just a long process. I’ve talked to other guys that have had it, and they say they experienced the same thing and it kind of just gets better over time. But as much as we play, I guess it takes a little bit longer.”
Tatum missed five games back in January after testing positive for COVID-19, but he has played in 11 games for the Celtics since returning to the active roster. The fact that he’s still feeling the effects of the virus nearly a month later shows just how serious the symptoms can be. Tatum isn’t the only player from across the league’s landscape that has struggled to get back full strength following a bout with the virus. Philadelphia 76ers sharpshooter Seth Curry recently said something similar following his return to on-court action after testing positive earlier in the season.
“It’s been tough,” Curry said. “Just trying to get my energy all the way back. Some days I feel good, some days I’m just sluggish. It’s like I got to take a nap all day, so it’s weird but I am grateful to be able to get up and get on the court every day and play… It’s a work in progress.”
The fact that elite athletes like Tatum and Curry are struggling to regain full form weeks after dealing with the virus is a scary sign when it comes to how debilitating the symptoms can be. This is exactly why the league has been overly cautious when it comes to postponing and rescheduling games this season, as they obviously want to minimize the number of players that are potentially exposed. Hopefully, Tatum, Curry, and others that have dealt with the virus are able to return to full form in short order.