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NBA

Chicago Bulls' Coby White tests positive for covid-19

The Bulls' guard is the second player on the roster to test positive for the virus recently.

Update:
The Chicago Bulls may be facing a covid-19 issue as they now have a second player who has tested positive for covid-19, as Coby White is the latest.
USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the Chicago Bulls may have the makings of a covid-19 issue on their hands

Coby White is the 2nd covid-19 case for the Bulls

On Wednesday the Chicago Bulls announced that guard Coby White tested positive for covid-19. It was head coach Billy Donovan who spoke on the development after practice on Wednesday afternoon. As a result, White will now enter the NBA's health and safety protocols which means he will not be allowed to travel with the team to New York this week where the Bulls will play both the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

With the news, White is now confirmed as the second Bulls player to test positive for covid-19 in recent weeks. Just last month center Nikola Vucevic tested positive for the virus which led to the player missing seven games as he entered the league's health and safety protocols. It is understood that all of the Bulls' roster have been fully vaccinated against covid-19. Indeed the Bulls achieved 100% vaccination in November and subsequently made booster shots available, however, the final decision was left to the individual choices of players according to Donovan.

The Bulls are vaccinated so why the positive tests?

With Vucevic's positive test in November, questions were understandably raised. The Bulls initiated a testing drive in response alongside league mandated testing for all teams following Thanksgiving. While they continue to tread with caution, the Bulls remain hopeful that they can curtail a widespread outbreak within the team. Speaking on the issue Bulls guard Alex Caruso spoke of the team's continued efforts, "We're just trying to follow all the guidelines. Wear a mask. Try to stay out of crowded areas, do all the things we can to try and stay healthy and stay ready for games."

The Bulls have other sick players

While the covid-19 concern is growing, the Bulls also have other illness issues in the team. Guard Zach LaVine is currently battling a sickness that for the moment appears to not be related to covid-19. To date Lavine has not tested positive for the virus; in fact he actually played in Monday's game against the Charlotte Hornets after first being listed as questionable before the game. Lavine, however, was not present in Wednesday's practice session, with the team stating that he was given time off to recuperate. For the purpose of clarity it should be noted that players who test positive for covid-19 are required to be apart from their team for a minimum of 10 days

Coby White & the bigger NBA picture

In this his third season, White has unfortunately not played in many games. Indeed, White's 2021 campaign has been limited to just nine games after he was sidelined for the better part of the year, as he recovered from an operation on his shoulder. Until his positive covid-19 test, White was averaging 6.1 points with 34.9% shooting.The Bulls guard is yet another player in recent weeks who has tested positive for the virus and then in turn entered the NBA's health and safety protocols. The likes of Lakers' star LeBron James and Nuggets guards Austin Rivers and Bones Hyland have also found themselves in a similar scenario.

"You just don't know what's going to happen with some of these guys testing positive," Donovan said. "I feel bad for Coby just because he's coming off the shoulder injury. He's trying to find his way back and now he's got another period of time where he's not going to be able to do anything physically until the league clears him to go through cardiac testing, however long that takes. But yeah, it's going around right now. Not only has COVID been a challenge; you're also dealing with a lot of players who have the flu, who are sick. It's still obviously very much real."

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