Matt Barnes Opens Up About Virus Scares After Second Stint On COVID-19 IL

Barnes has had two potential run-ins with the virus

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Matt Barnes came in to pitch the ninth inning for the Red Sox in their defeat of the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, hours after he was reinstated from the COVID-19-related injury list. But he’s no stranger to the process, as he spent time in quarantine due to a virus scare during spring training.

Barnes said after Wednesday’s game that his first stint in virus protocols — when he tested positive but was asymptomatic and later returned negative tests — was much more difficult than his brief stay on the list Tuesday.

He said his most recent run-in with the virus protocols was self-induced after he came down with what seemed to be a head cold on Monday and had symptoms that lasted through yesterday.

“The first time was definitely harder than this one,” he said postgame. “That was like three days before camp, I was around a ton of people, nobody was vaccinated. So that one was definitely worse … (This week) I just felt that it was the responsible thing to do to be proactive and cautious about it and that’s kind of the approach we took. But obviously very relieved to not have it and be able to join the team.”

Manager Alex Cora announced Tuesday that the rest of the team had returned negative tests but Barnes was quarantined as a precaution while awaiting test results. Before Wednesday’s game, he confirmed the closer was “good to go.”

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