Coronavirus outbreak

Durant tests positive for virus but 'feels fine'

Kevin Durant, one of four Nets players to test positive, has yet to play this season because of an Achilles tendon injury.
Kevin Durant, one of four Nets players to test positive, has yet to play this season because of an Achilles tendon injury.

NEW YORK • Kevin Durant, one of the biggest stars in the National Basketball Association (NBA), is one of the four Brooklyn Nets players who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The forward, who has yet to play this season owing to a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered with the Golden State Warriors during last term's NBA Finals, told The Athletic on Tuesday: "Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We're going to get through this."

The sports website also characterised him as "feeling fine".

At least seven NBA players have now tested positive for the Covid-19 disease.

The Los Angeles Lakers were the last team to play the Nets before the league was shut down indefinitely last Thursday.

The Western Conference leaders have also been placed under quarantine.

While no names were mentioned nor was it revealed how many players were affected, the team issued a statement, saying: "Given the exposure risks from our game against the Nets on March 10, we are following the next steps of our Covid-19 procedures and protocol that are established in consultation with various health officials, the NBA and our UCLA Health doctors."

According to ESPN, the league is plotting its next course of action, with options including ending the season completely, tipping it off again but without fans, waiting until the play-offs to allow spectators into arenas and a reduction in the length of the play-off series.

The pandemic has also thrown a spanner in the works of British boxer Anthony Joshua's planned world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev.

His promoter, Eddie Hearn, told reporters on Tuesday that the June 20 fight could be postponed by a month and "everything now is really a case-by-case situation".

The bout is scheduled to be held at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which may not be available if Tottenham need their ground for a potential extension of the Premier League campaign.

All top-flight football matches have been suspended until early next month at the earliest, causing speculation that the season will only finish in the summer.

Golf has also not been spared, with the organisers of the second Major of the year, the PGA Championship, following the lead of the Masters by postponing the event.

The tournament had been scheduled for May 14-17 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, which is under a shelter-in-place order that prohibits people from leaving their homes except for essential travel, such as a grocery run.

But organisers are hoping they can eventually stage it sometime in the summer.

Said PGA of America chief executive officer Seth Waugh: "We look forward to hopefully (playing the event) at a date this summer when it is once again safe and responsible to do so."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2020, with the headline Durant tests positive for virus but 'feels fine'. Subscribe