SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — One game after his return to the lineup from a 58-game absence due to an injured hand, Golden State Warrior star Steph Curry was ruled out of Saturday’s game with the Philadelphia 76ers because he is suffering from the flu, team officials said.
In the current environment surrounding an growing coronavirus outbreak in the Bay Area, the team was quick to point that he was not suffering any symptoms of the illness. With 15 new cases reported on Saturday, the Bay Area now has at least 64 presumptive cases of the virus.
“This morning Steph Curry was diagnosed with influenza A by a positive test,” the team said in a release. “We have identified the probable source contact who is not a part of the team.”
“He has no specific risk factors for COVID-19,” the statement continued. “He has the seasonal flu.”
The Warriors were treating their star, but could not anticipate when he may return to the lineup. Curry played 27 minutes in Thursday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors, scoring 23 points. It was his first game back since October when he broke his left hand and needed multiple surgeries.
The announcement underscored how professional sports teams are now faced to deal with the coronavirus.
The NBA wants its teams to prepare to play games without fans if necessary because of the coronavirus crisis, but LeBron James already says he won’t play basketball in an empty arena.
The league circulated a memo to its teams Friday telling them to prepare in case it becomes necessary to play games without fans or media, as sports leagues in Europe have already done. The memo detailed potential actions that teams might need to take “if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present.”
But when James was asked about that possibility after he scored 37 points in his Los Angeles Lakers’ 113-103 win over the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, the NBA’s leading active scorer was definitive.
“We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible,” James said. “I ain’t playing if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates, and I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. So if I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”
The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, says teams should identify which team and arena people would be necessary to conduct games, and be able to communicate quickly with non-essential staff, as well as ticket holders and corporate partners.
Inside the San Francisco Giants spring training clubhouse Saturday there were stacks of hundreds of baseball cards signed by the franchise’s biggest stars.
Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Evan Longoria and more, all ready for eager autograph seekers at the club’s spring training home in Scottsdale.
A generous gesture, but also a measure aimed at keeping players and fans safe amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“You know just the amount of people that come to games, come to ask for autographs and stuff like that, that’s the biggest fear,” Longoria said. “But outside of that, what are you gonna do?”
The COVID-19 strain has already been diagnosed in patients in Florida and Arizona, the home bases for all 30 major league teams during spring training. Like pro sports leagues around the world, Major League Baseball is trying to balance fan experience with public health.
At the Giants’ facility in Scottsdale, personnel cleaned railings and seats around the ballpark shortly before fans began arriving for an afternoon game against the Chicago White Sox. Daily sanitizing measures have become standard practice in San Francisco’s clubhouse, too, as have reminders about hand-washing and warnings that ill players should stay home.
MLB sent a memo to teams 10 days ago sharing recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control aimed at stemming the virus outbreak. The league has formed a task force to monitor the situation and provided periodic updates to teams on measures to protect fans, players and team personnel — including the suggestion to have players pre-sign memorabilia.
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.