Jayson Tatum Reveals How COVID-19 Affects Him During Celtics Games

Tatum missed five games after testing positive for COVID-19


February 16, 2021

Jayson Tatum still is working his way back from a bout with COVID-19, despite returning to the court weeks ago.

The Boston Celtics star revealed to reporters Tuesday he still suffers from lingering effects of COVID-19. Tatum said he struggles with his breathing at times and grows tired earlier in games than he normally would.

“I think it messes with your breathing a little bit,” Tatum said, as seen in a video ESPN shared via Twitter. “I have experienced some games where, I don’t want to say I’m struggling to breathe but you get fatigued a lot quicker than normal. Running up and down the court a few times, it’s easier to get out of breath or get tired a little faster. I’ve noticed that since I had COVID.

“It’s gotten better since the first game I played, but I still deal with it from time to time. It’s not like every game where I feel it the whole game. It’s certain stretches where my breathing is a little out of whack. I talked to the medical staff and coaching staff about it and it’s gotten better from the first game that I played. I guess it’s just a long process.”

Tatum missed five games between Jan. 15 and Jan. 25, following his COVID-19 diagnosis. He said the severe symptoms he initially felt subsided after a few days. However, like many others whom COVID-19 has stricken, the symptoms haven’t faded away for good.

Tatum has played 11 games since returning, and his field-goal and 3-point shooting percentages are down slightly from where they were prior to his bout with COVID. Before his absence, Tatum was shooting 47.4 percent from from the floor and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. Since his return, Tatum’s field goal percentage is 42.7, and his three-point shooting is 36.9 percent.

Perhaps Tatum will rebound fully before too long. If he does, the struggling Celtics might follow suit.

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