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White becomes 2nd Bulls player with COVID-19

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Published in Basketball
Wednesday, 01 December 2021 12:27

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls guard Coby White tested positive for COVID-19, coach Billy Donovan announced after practice Wednesday afternoon.

White will enter the NBA's health and safety protocols and will not travel with the team to New York this week for games against the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. White is the second Bulls player to contract the coronavirus recently, following center Nikola Vucevic, who missed seven games last month while in the league's health and safety protocols.

All Bulls players have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, an achievement the team reached at the start of November. Booster shots have been made available to players, but the team has left that decision up to individual preference, according to Donovan.

However, after Vucevic's positive test last month, the Bulls started testing players regularly, and the league mandated testing for teams following Thanksgiving.

So, the Bulls are hopeful to avoid a widespread team outbreak.

"We're just trying to follow all the guidelines," Bulls guard Alex Caruso said after practice Wednesday. "Wear a mask. Try to stay out of crowded areas, do all the things we can to try and stay healthy and stay ready for games."

Guard Zach LaVine is also dealing with an illness that still appears to be non-COVID-19-related. He has continued to test negative for the virus. LaVine was listed as questionable before ultimately playing in Monday's game against the Charlotte Hornets but did not practice on Wednesday, because the Bulls wanted to give him time to recuperate.

Players who test positive for COVID-19 are required to be away from their teams for at least 10 days.

White's third season in the NBA has already been limited to just nine games, after he missed the start of the year while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He had been averaging 6.1 points on 34.9% shooting since returning to the lineup.

White joins a growing list of players who have entered the NBA's health and safety protocols recently, including L.A. Lakers star LeBron James and Nuggets guards Austin Rivers and Bones Hyland. "You just don't know what's going to happen with some of these guys testing positive," Donovan said. "I feel bad for Coby just because he's coming off the shoulder injury. He's trying to find his way back and now he's got another period of time where he's not going to be able to do anything physically until the league clears him to go through cardiac testing, however long that takes.

"But yeah, it's going around right now. Not only has COVID been a challenge; you're also dealing with a lot of players who have the flu, who are sick. It's still obviously very much real."

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