Black­mon re­turns af­ter re­cov­er­ing from COVID-19

Merced Sun-Star - - Sports -

All-Star out­fielder Char­lie Black­mon, the first ma­jor league player known to have tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus, re­turned to the Colorado Rockies for his first work­out Mon­day af­ter get­ting the all clear to re­join his team­mates.

“I feel great. I have felt that way for at least a cou­ple of weeks now,” Black­mon said on a video con­fer­ence call with re­porters be­fore tak­ing bat­ting and field­ing prac­tice at Coors Field.

“It’s nice to be back," he added. “I was get­ting kind of bored sit­ting there in the base­ment in quar­an­tine by my­self.”

Black­mon said he was only mildly af­fected by the virus that has killed more than 130,000 Amer­i­cans and claimed more than a half-mil­lion lives world­wide.

“I had a day and a half of symp­toms and af­ter that I started feel­ing much bet­ter,” Black­mon said, adding he hopes to be ready for the Rockies’ July 24 opener at Texas.

He said his ill­ness wasn’tas bad as the flu.

“I was blind­sided” by the pos­i­tive test re­sult, Black­mon ex­plained, adding that he had taken all the usual pre­cau­tions with his fam­ily: shel­ter­ing at home, so­cial dis­tanc­ing and wear­ing a mask when out in pub­lic.

He said he has no idea how he con­tracted the virus but was lucky not to get as sick as many oth­ers.

NFL

Olsen to join Fox af­ter re­tire­ment: Sea­hawks tight end Greg Olsen said he has agreed to a con­tract with Fox Sports to be­come its No. 2 NFL game an­a­lyst once he re­tires from foot­ball.

Olsen signed a oneyear, $6.9 mil­lion con­tract with the Sea­hawks ear­lier this off­sea­son af­ter spend­ing nine sea­sons with the Pan­thers.

The New York Post was the first to re­port the news.

The 35-year-old Olsen will part­ner with Kevin Burkhardt in the booth as an an­a­lyst once the 13year NFL vet­eran de­cides to call it quits. Olsen had pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered re­tir­ing af­ter last sea­son, but de­cided to play at least one more year with the Sea­hawks in hopes of team­ing with Rus­sell Wil­son to win his first Su­per Bowl ring.

Lions sign 1st-round pick: The Detroit Lions have signed first-round pick Jeff Oku­dah.

The Lions also an­nounced Mon­day that they signed sec­ond-round se­lec­tion D’An­dre Swift along with fifth-round picks Quin­tez Ce­phus and Ja­son Hunt­ley.

Detroit drafted Oku­dah, a former Ohio State stand­out, with third over­all pick and made him the high­est-drafted cor­ner­back since Shawn Springs was se­lected from the same school by Seat­tle in 1997.

Horse rac­ing

Jockey Church dies at 90: Ken Church, who rode more than 2,000 win­ners dur­ing a 20-year ca­reer that in­cluded four mounts in the Ken­tucky Derby, died Mon­day. He was 90.

Church was di­ag­nosed with pneu­mo­nia a week ago at the re­tire­ment fa­cil­ity where he lived in Reno, Ne­vada, and was taken to a hos­pi­tal. He con­tracted COVID-19 there and died, his daugh­ter Deb­bie An­der­son told Del Mar race­track of­fi­cials in Cal­i­for­nia.

Church won his first race on July 27, 1947. He rode in 14,000 races dur­ing this ca­reer. His best fin­ish in the Ken­tucky Derby was fifth place aboard Oil Capi­tol in 1950. He won five con­sec­u­tive races in one day at Chicago's old Wash­ing­ton Park on June 10, 1952.

WNBA

Sea­son sched­uled to tip off July 25: The WNBA sea­son is sched­uled to tip off July 25 with all games that week­end ded­i­cated to the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment.

All 12 fran­chises will play the open­ing week­end and honor vic­tims of po­lice bru­tal­ity and racial vi­o­lence. Team uni­forms will dis­play Bre­onna Tay­lor’s name. Play­ers will each have the op­tion to con­tinue to wear Tay­lor’s name on their jersey for sub­se­quent games.

Tay­lor, a 26-year-old Black emer­gency med­i­cal tech­ni­cian, was shot eight times by plain­clothes Louisville po­lice of­fi­cers serv­ing a nar­cotics search war­rant at her apart­ment on March 13. No drugs were found. Her fam­ily and pro­test­ers around the coun­try have called for swift ac­tion against the of­fi­cers who shot Tay­lor.

The league's 24th sea­son will be played at a sin­gle site in Braden­ton, Florida. Each team will play a 22-game sched­ule, fac­ing op­po­nents twice. One game will be des­ig­nated as a home game and the other one a road con­test.

The league will have three games a day, play­ing on the two courts at the Feld En­ter­tain­ment Cen­ter, which is near the IMG Academy where the play­ers are stay­ing.

The sea­son is set to end on Sept. 12 with the play­offs be­gin­ning soon af­ter. The WNBA is us­ing its tra­di­tional play­off for­mat with eight teams reach­ing the post­sea­son and a sin­gle-elim­i­na­tion game be­ing played in the open­ing two rounds.

Delle Donne says league de­nied her med­i­cal waiver: Elena Delle Donne's re­quest to be med­i­cally ex­cused from the WNBA sea­son was de­nied, ac­cord­ing to the league's reign­ing MVP.

The Wash­ing­ton Mys­tics star said in a state­ment Mon­day that the in­de­pen­dent panel of doc­tors the league and union agreed upon to de­cide whether play­ers should be med­i­cally ex­cused deemed her not to be "high risk, and should be per­mit­ted to play in the bub­ble.”

Had Delle Donne been med­i­cally ex­cused, she would have earned her en­tire salary for the sea­son. Now, if she chooses not to play, the Mys­tics wouldn’t have to pay her.

AP file photo

Char­lie Black­mon is back with the Colorado Rockies af­ter a mild case of COVID-19. He hopes to be ready for the Rockies’ July 24 opener at Texas.

AP file photo

Seat­tle Sea­hawks tight end Greg Olsen, for­merly with the Carolina Pan­thers, will work for Fox Sports as an an­a­lyst af­ter re­tir­ing from the NFL.

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