Ten sports personalities who have recovered from Covid-19

Monday, April 6th, 2020 00:00 |
Blaise Matuidi (Juventus).

The coronavirus pandemic has brought everything to a standstill including sports as various nations try to come up with measures to stop it. The silver lining has, however, been the large numbers of people who have recovered among them sporting personalities. Here are some...

1. Blaise Matuidi (Juventus)

Matuidi was among a number of footballers in Italy who have tested positive for Covid-19 including his teammates Paulo Dybala and Danielle Rugani.

With Italy being the hardest hit country in Europe, footballers have not been spared as the nation grapples with deaths that have gone beyond 10,000. However, a number of people have recovered and Matuidi is among them.

2. Fernando Gaviria (Cyclist)

Colombian cyclist Gaviria confirmed on March 12 that he has the virus while on tour in the United Arab Emirates.

Fernando Gaviria (Cyclist).

He did tests as a precaution after developing mild symptoms and was later admitted to hospital in the Gulf nation before he was declared negative days later. 

3. Pepe Reina (Aston Villa)

The Aston Villa goalkeeper revealed he endured “endless minutes of fear” after contracting coronavirus symptoms that left him unable to breathe.

The 37-year-old said he was on the mend after “the worst moments of my life. I couldn’t breathe for 35 minutes”.

Pepe Reina (Aston Villa).

Reina, on loan at Villa from Napoli, told Corriere dello Sport: “It is only now that I am winning the battle against coronavirus.”

He began to feel unwell nearly two weeks ago. Reina self-isolated at home before he was cleared. 

4. Collum-Hudson Odoi(Chelsea)

Just minutes after Mikel Arteta’s positive test, news filtered in that Chelsea winger Collum-Hudson Odoi had also contracted the virus.

Collum-Hudson Odoi(Chelsea).

The Premier league, which was scheduled to continue with matches that weekend quickly cancelled the plans and suspended football with Odoi saying he had mild symptoms and doing fine. The youngster recovered last week and is set to return to training.

5. Christian Wood (Detroit Pistons)

Wood contracted coronavirus after the Detroit Pistons player Utah Jazz on March 7.

Christian Wood (Detroit Pistons).

The forward was the third player in the NBA after Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, both of Utah, became case number one and two that led to the suspension of the league. Like his colleagues, he was later declared negative.

6. Victor Lange (Golfer)

South African golfer Lange received his positive diagnosis on March 17 after returning to Johannesburg on March 9 from the Latinoamerica event in Mazathan, Mexico.

Victor Lange (Golfer).

He had featured in the PGA Tour and upon his return, conducted tests as a precaution which turned out positive. He was, however, recently cleared.

7. Evangelos Marinakis (Olympiakos owner)

The Greek shipping magnate became the first high-profile figure in football and first known owner of a sports team to contract the virus on March 10.

Marinakis could not remember where he might have contracted the virus but that news was felt beyond his native Greece as the EPL tie between Manchester City and Arsenal was cancelled days later after it emerged that he had come in contact with members of the Gunners squad days earlier when Olympiakos eliminated the London side from the Europa League.

Marinakis is said to have been in the director’s box and dressing room at the Emirates Stadium, sending the whole Arsenal squad into quarantine when the news came in. He was cleared last week.

8. Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)

The most high-profile figure in the English Premier League to test positive for conoravirus, news of Arteta’s test sent shockwaves in the division, leading to the suspension of all football activities in the country on March 12.

The Arsenal coach was suspected to have contracted the virus from Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis when the Gunners faced the Greek side in the Europa League round of 32 at the Emirates Stadium on February 27.

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

After self-isolating and going through the medical procedures, Arteta was given a clean bill of health close to two weeks ago.

“You realise, ‘wow, everybody can be exposed here, this is very serious’ and you start to think about the people that you’ve been in contact with and the other people that can be related to us. That’s when a bit of fear comes,” said Arteta on his diagnosis.

9. Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) 

The French basketball star was the first NBA player to test positive on March 11.

Gobert, who plays for Utah Jazz, had just days earlier seen sarcastically touching reporters’ microphones during a press briefing and when the news came in, it sparked fears.

The player later apologised for his “careless behaviour” to people he might have “endangered” before he was cleared almost a fortnight ago. 

10. Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)

Perhaps the biggest name in the NBA to contract the deadly virus, Durant and three unnamed teammates found out they were positive just days after facing Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Centre.

Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets).

Durant, who has not featured at all for his new team since leaving Golden State Warriors in autumn due to an Achilles tendon, went into self-isolationism having exhibited mild symptoms. The two-time NBA winner and Finals MVP was later cleared.

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