Jayson Tatum’s battle with COVID-19 is far from over.
Tatum was forced to miss five games in mid-January with COVID-19, while his team sat out of action an entire week and couldn’t even field the necessary number of athletes to play thanks to the virus. His return to action was Jan. 25, but that doesn’t mean life went back to normal.
For anyone following the news cycle or who has had COVID-19 themselves, the challenges are only beginning after the virus clears your body. The after-effects can impact people for years or even, in extreme cases, the rest of their life. The former has been true for Tatum, who still has trouble breathing at times during games.
Tatum is still learning how to deal with life after COVID
“I think it messes with your breathing a little bit,” Tatum said. “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.”
The Celtics are aware of said issues, and the medical team is working to help him take things at the right pace for now. Despite these challenges, Tatum is still averaging 25.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 21 games this season, all for a team that sits fourth in the Eastern Conference.
“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 continued.
For most, contracting COVID-19 would force them to slow down, but Tatum is in the middle of a highly-challenging season for the Celtics. We can only hope he continues to get the medical attention he needs.