‘This is not a two-week thing’: Phillies’ Scott Kingery details perilous COVID-19 battle —

Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY Published 5:48 p.m. ET July 7, 2020 CLOSE What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale discusses how players are responding to MLB’s delay in COVID-19 test results. USA TODAYScott Kingery first felt the symptoms of COVID-19 on June 11. He’s still nowhere near ready to contribute to the Philadelphia Phillies. That’s the…

‘This is not a two-week thing’: Phillies’ Scott Kingery details perilous COVID-19 battle —

 HomePolitics‘This is not a two-week thing’: Phillies’ Scott Kingery details perilous COVID-19 battle

‘This is not a two-week thing’: Phillies’ Scott Kingery details perilous COVID-19 battle

NWNAdmin  July 7, 2020  

Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY
Published 5: 48 p.m. ET July 7, 2020

What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale discusses how players are responding to MLB’s delay in COVID-19 test results.

USA TODAY

Scott Kingery first felt the symptoms of COVID-19 on June 11. 

He’s still nowhere near ready to contribute to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

That’s the message the 26-year-old third baseman imparted after a nearly monthlong battle with the virus – a struggle that included an inaccurate test, a draining bout with severe flu-like symptoms and an enduring concern about his long-term welfare. 

Kingery was among a group of seven Phillies who were delayed in reporting to the team’s “summer camp,” though due to privacy concerns, the team did not confirm nor deny the health status of the group. Tuesday, general manager Matt Klentak announced Kingery and pitcher Tommy Hunter tested positive last month, while outfielder Mikie Mahtook tested positive upon intake testing in Philadelphia.  

Tuesday, Kingery opted to tell his story to NBC Sports Philadelphia, detailing a hellish month that began with a cough at his home in Phoenix.

“I tried to play it off but it didn’t go away,” he told NBC Sports of the symptoms that began on a Thursday. “Saturday around 10 a.m., I got chills so bad I couldn’t move without my whole body shaking. That night, my fever spiked so high that I sweated through my sheets. It left an imprint of my body. My fever broke Sunday morning and I actually felt a little better. But then three or four days later, I lost my sense of taste and smell for a few days. That was really annoying.” 

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“For a week, I was so tired. Low energy. Fatigue. Then I experienced shortness of breath for a week. I felt like I laid on the couch for three weeks without moving. I was tired just going up the stairs.”

Kingery, 26, is one of nearly 40 major league players publicly identified to test positive for the coronavirus before or on their way into camps as Major League Baseball aims to launch a 60-game season beginning July 23.

According to data collected by USA TODAY Sports, 16 teams have at least one player who has been identified as testing positive, while at least two other teams have acknowledged positive tests without the player self-identifying. 

Tuesday, two left-handed pitchers – Jesus Luzardo of the Oakland Athletics and Eduardo Rodriguez of the Boston Red Sox – were reported to test positive, which at the least will probably prevent them from starting the season on the active roster. 

Kingery, like Atlanta Braves All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman, provides a cautionary note that the virus that has killed more than 130,000 Americans is not like any other injury, even for elite athletes. 

He told NBC Sports someone among a group of ballplayers with whom he worked out in Arizona tested positive and Kingery got tested at an urgent care facility. Five days later, and in the throes of the aforementioned fever, he still didn’t have his result; he eventually called and was told it was negative. 

The Phillies shipped him a test kit and this test turned up positive. He recently tested negative for the virus and must pass one more test before joining his teammates in Philadelphia.

As MLB struggles to meet the health and testing protocols it laid out to stage this season, Kingery understands why the precautions are so detailed – because the consequences are significant.

“I want people to know this is not a two-week thing if you get it,” he told NBC Sports. “You’re not supposed to do any physical activity for 10 to 14 days after a positive test. That could be a month. That’s a huge part of the season so you don’t want to get it. You have to take the precautions and protocols seriously.”

Phillies, Blue Jays place players on IL, COVID-19 speculation ensues — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

The Phillies and Blue Jays placed a handful of players on the 10-day injured list, inviting speculation about which players might have COVID-19.

Phillies, Blue Jays place players on IL, COVID-19 speculation ensues — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

With ‘summer camp’ about to get under way, MLB.com’s transactions log is back up and running. As of this writing, two teams have placed players on the injured list: the Phillies and Blue Jays. For the Phillies, Héctor Neris, Tommy Hunter, Ranger Suárez, and Scott Kingery are on the 10-day IL. The Blue Jays have Brandon DruryJonathan Davis, Hector Perez, and Elvis Luciano DL’ed. None of the players have reasons listed for their appearance, so speculation about which players might have the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has ensued.

On Tuesday, I discussed the tricky spot MLB teams are in regarding disclosure of players affected by COVID-19. Due to the Basic Agreement, teams aren’t allowed to disclose their players’ medical issues if they aren’t employment-related (consider a cancer diagnosis versus a torn UCL). The lack of transparency — whether for nefarious reasons or not — for COVID-IL players will simply invite rampant speculation, and that is what we have seen early on. Fans and members of the media alike are wondering which players, if not all of them, are suffering from the virus. Since a player’s placement on the IL typically comes with a reason for said placement, it won’t be difficult to parse which players are there for COVID-19 and which are not.

The most important thing is that players have privacy and control over their medical information. That being said, the highly public and competitive nature of their jobs has resulted in transparency regarding their medical information. One wonders if the headaches caused by the speculation might result in the current policy being amended. Players could have generic reasons listed for their placement, or teams could simply reveal which players have COVID-19. There isn’t an easy fix, but the current system doesn’t appear to be the solution.

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