Casali reveals he battled COVID-19 before spring training

Curt Casali

For the second straight night, the Giants received key contributions from a player coming off the COVID-19 injured list in Saturday's 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Donovan Solano played the hero Friday with his pinch-hit, game-tying solo shot with two outs in the ninth inning. On Saturday, it was Alex Wood's turn to put an orange cape on. Wood returned from the COVID-19 IL list, making his first start since Aug. 26, and tossed three strong innings that exceeded manager Gabe Kapler's expectations. 

Wood told reporters after the game that he had a fever on and off for seven straight days while battling COVID-19. The 30-year-old said he barely was able to get out of bed for a week. He would not reveal if he has been vaccinated or not. 

His catcher for the night, Curt Casali, revealed his own COVID-19 story following the win. Casali came up clutch in Saturday's win, driving in the only two runs of the game. But this hasn't been an easy season for Casali, dating all the way back to spring training. 

Casali, 32, told reporters that he tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of spring training. 

"Yeah, I was about a week and a half late to spring training and it was not fun," Casali said. "I had pretty much every symptom that you could imagine. It definitely took a while to get back. My spring training was delayed in a way that I didn't want it to be.


"My wife jokes that I got 'the bodies' now, so I'm just thrilled that my immune system has pulled through." 

The veteran catcher already was dealing with an offseason of setbacks, and testing positive for the virus made it that much worse.

"It was an offseason of not being able to really workout, because I was rehabbing two wrist surgeries first of all, and then to top on a terrible virus -- it stunk," Casali said. "We have a great training staff here. They helped me and my wife back in February.

"It was a grind to get back ... it's definitely not something to take for granted, and to take lightly."

RELATED: Wood's return in Giants' win good step in right direction

Through 73 games with the Giants, Casali now is batting .214 with five home runs and 26 RBI. However, he hit just .129 the first month of the season, and .089 in May. His slow start to the season certainly could be credited to recovering from COVID-19 and being behind the curve in spring training. 

Casali was not vaccinated at the time of testing positive. He took the vaccine after, and said the side effects were nothing compared to dealing with the actual virus. 

"It was nowhere near what I had in spring training," Casali said.

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