Celtics

Fournier details experience with COVID, difficulty of returning

Celtics

Evan Fournier's return to the court Friday night didn't go as well as he had hoped, but it still was a step in the right direction.

Fournier missed the previous nine games due to a bout with COVID-19. The Boston Celtics swingman struggled in the 109-104 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, missing all seven of his shots in 22 minutes.

Familiar struggles plague C's in loss to Nets

After the game, he opened up about his difficult experience with the virus.

"My experience -- where do I start? The first two days I was doing great, no symptoms at all, and then flu-like symptoms, high fever, really tired, fatigue, all that," Fournier said. "I honestly stayed in bed and slept for four or five days. The roughest part was ramping up the activity. The last two days of practice was really hard. I had moments where I was doing good and moments where I was exhausted.

"That's why you have to push through it. You have to do it to feel better. I don't want to spend another week just ramping up my activity and doing cardio and all that. I need reps with the guys."

Fournier admits he still wasn't feeling 100 percent, but he wanted to return to action to get much-needed time in with his Celtics teammates.

"I probably could have waited a few more days or a few more games to really feel better, but I just got here and I need reps to play with the guys and really understand the system offensively and defensively," Fournier said. "So I only had two days of practice, and for me the most important thing is just to be out there.

 

"It's going to be hard obviously, but I have to fight through it and push through it because to me that's the only way I'm going to feel better at some point."

Fournier is the latest Celtics player to speak about their COVID-19 experience and the physical toll if took on them. Romeo Langford recently detailed his own bout with the virus, and C's star Jayson Tatum said he has needed to use an inhaler before games ever since he tested positive.

Fournier and the Celtics will look to turn things around when they visit the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. Tip-off for the matchup is set for 1 p.m. ET.