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Fox discusses coronavirus symptoms, his road back to health

NBC Sports
De'Aaron Fox

SACRAMENTO -- De’Aaron Fox wanted nothing more than to jump back on the court and finish out the 2020-21 Kings season. It just wasn’t in the cards.

Speaking to the Sacramento media for the first time since contracting the coronavirus, Fox said that he first experienced a headache following the Kings' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 21. After testing the next day, he started to develop symptoms and that was followed by an early morning phone call on the 23rd.

“Dr. Brayley called me at like, 7 AM the next morning and I’m like, ah s--t, I definitely have it,” Fox said. “He told me I tested positive. I’m not sure, I don’t know when I may have gotten it.”

What came next was a few weeks of symptoms for both Fox and his fiancée Recee Caldwell. Neither lost their sense of taste or smell, but they did struggle with headaches, body aches and chills. 

When the symptoms subsided, there still was a lot more recovery to take place. Like so many others, there is no standard path for the pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the world.

“For me, coming back was definitely a process, but I feel a lot better than I did a few weeks ago,” Fox said. “That’s definitely a plus.”

Fox tried to return to play. According to league sources, he had hoped to come back after clearing the first stages of the league’s protocols. But reality set in once he attempted a return.

 

“We played 2-on-2 the day we left for Memphis and that was a struggle, that was really hard for me -- playing halfcourt and then playing full court. It was different because I was in the best shape I’ve probably been in before I got COVID and then coming back, barely being able to finish a couple of 2-on-2 games was definitely difficult.”

Fox still traveled with the Kings in hopes of a return, but his body just didn’t cooperate. While he’s feeling much better now, one week later, that doesn’t mean he’s ready to compete at the highest level of competition.

“I don’t know how close I was, but I definitely needed a lot more time,” Fox added.

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With the season now over, Fox has a chance to truly complete his recovery. He can draw on the experiences of some of his teammates, like Harrison Barnes, who admitted that it took him the better part of three to four months before he felt completely back to normal. But again, very few people face the same experiences with this illness. 

How will this impact Fox’s offseason plans? That’s something for him to answer at a later date. The good news is that the virus finally is out of his system and he can begin the healing process.