NBA All-Star Rudy Gobert says he will make a full recovery after becoming the first player in the league to test positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The positive test sent shockwaves through not only the NBA, which immediately suspended its season, but the rest of the North American sporting landscape as well.
“I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment,” the 27-year-old Utah Jazz centre said Thursday on social media.
Gobert openly mocked the concern over coronavirus on Monday, purposely touching several microphones after a media conference. As it turned out, the native of Saint-Quentin, France, was likely infected at the time without knowing it.
— KUTV 2News (@KUTV2News) March 12, 2020
Gobert’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell, has since also tested positive for coronavirus.
“The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered,” Gobert said. “At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.
“I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.”
Gobert’s last game was on Monday against the Toronto Raptors in Salt Lake City. Raptors players, coaches, and travelling staff have since been advised to go into self-isolation for 14 days.
Mitchell, who was slated to play in Wednesday’s game in Oklahoma City before the game was postponed, posted this message to Instagram on Thursday:
“Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test,” said Mitchell. “We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them.
“I appreciate the authorities in Oklahoma who were helpful with the testing process and everyone from the [Utah Jazz] who have been so supportive. I am going to keep following the advice of our medical staff and hope that we can all come together and be there for each other and our neighbors who need our help.”