Nuggets star Nikola Jokic’s Orlando status after recently testing positive for coronavirus
Nikola Jokic was one of the first players to return a positive test for the novel coronavirus, doing so in his native Serbia before the recent wave of team-wide testing. The Denver Nuggets star isn’t allowed to travel back to Denver to join his teammates at the practice facility until he tests negative twice.
Jokic’s father gave a rather quick update on his status, noting he and his family were “fine,” but head coach Michael Malone gave a little more detail during a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday:
“Nikola feels great,” said Malone, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “We are working on getting him back here. Next Tuesday we depart for Orlando; the hope and expectation is that Nikola Jokic will be with us on that plane. From everything that I have heard and talked to him, he feels great, he feels fine and is excited to get back.”
The Joker wasn’t alone, however, as several others in the Nuggets organization tested positive for the virus, forcing the shutdown of the practice facility for preventative measures:
“We have closed down the facility,” Malone confirmed. “… We felt it was the right thing to do. Today was supposed to be the first day of Phase 3 where all our players were required to be back in the gym and we are allowed to work with them albeit just 1-on-0. We have put the safety of our team ahead of this Phase 3. There is a chance we can open the gym up before we leave, depending upon results in the coming days. I am not going to get into who tested but we have had multiple people in our travel party test positive.”
The Nuggets will need Jokic at 100% capacity if they are to make this late push to remain among the top four teams in the West.
The team will go wheels up to Orlando on Tuesday, allowing for a three-week Training Camp 2.0 before the 2019-20 season resumes on July 30.