Trail Blazers

Coach Stotts is hopeful Blazers practice Tuesday, says one player tested postive for COVID-19

Trail Blazers
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Last week, the Trail Blazers took to the court for individual workouts.

Sunday was scheduled to be the first day for the team to workout together. But practice didn't happen.

Portland took voluntary action to shut down its practice facility Sunday for deep cleaning after three positive COVID-19 tests came back over four days.

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The team did not announce if any of the positive tests involved players, staff or a combination of the two when the announcement was made Sunday morning. Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, said in a statement that the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution.''

With the league not mandating a shut down, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts spent Monday explaining to the media what went into the team’s decision to close the practice facility.

We wanted to get a handle on it, especially with practice starting and everything else, it was just the prudent thing to do.

Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

Coach Stotts did not give names or go into detail about the three positive test results, but he did say they didn’t find out about all three in one day.

 

He added that one of the positive tests did come from a player.

“We had one player test positive,” Stotts said. “He won’t be [at practice Tuesday]. Zach Collins (ankle) will not be practicing. Jusuf Nurkic just got back from Bosnia, so he will not be available until he gets the appropriate amount of testing.” 

The testing works like so:

The Blazers must finish their testing daily by 10:00 or 10:30 every morning.

“The way the testing works right now, and I think it’s going to change in a week, where we may have some rapid testing, but as of now, we test every morning,” Coach Stotts explained. “We have to finish our testing by 10:00 or 10:30am… Our trainer Geoff Clarke gets the results in the early morning -- two or three o’clock in the morning of the following day.” 

Coach Stotts did not say how long the players or others who tested positive will be away from the practice facility.

According to CBSsports.com, here’s what has to happen for anyone who has tested positive to return to the team:

·At least 12 days have passed since the latter of either player's first positive test, or the conclusion of their symptoms

·The player is asymptomatic and there are no concerns about reinfection

·A team doctor has cleared the player to return

·The team doctor has reviewed the case with a league doctor, who offers no further objections

 

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers staff or players who tested positive will likely be away for 12 days

As for contact tracing, the Blazers have been working diligently on that front.

We are doing contract tracing and we are abiding by the NBA protocols, which are aligned with the CDC guidelines. And obviously contact tracing is all part of that, both looking forward and going back to the person who tested positive, and who that person had contact with subsequently or previously where that person may have gotten it.

Terry Stotts

Now as Portland looks to prepare for its first preseason game of the year, slated for Friday, the Blazers will look to minimize the negative impact of losing out on two practices.  

“We lost two days of practice. We were scheduled to have practice yesterday, have practice today. So losing two practice days in what is already a short preparation time has an impact.”

Coach Stotts is hopeful that the Blazers will begin practicing Tuesday.  

It’s unfortunate that we had the positive tests, but we have to adapt and move on.

There is now even more of an onus on current individual workouts, which continued Monday as the practice facility opened up again.

“The coaches are working with the players, one-on-one, and getting shots, getting used to different actions, maintaining a little bit of a basketball edge,” Stotts said of the individual workouts.  

We’re all anxious to play and tomorrow’s practice is going to be a lot of  -- some teaching and a lot of playing.

Coach Terry Stotts

The Trail Blazers and Kings are scheduled to tip-off the exhibition season Friday at 7:30p.m.