Jayson Tatum tested positive for COVID-19 on January 9 and returned to game action on January 25. While he's back playing for the Boston Celtics, the All-Star is still dealing with the aftereffects of the virus. He claims he's still having issues breathing weeks after being cleared to play.
Tatum told reporters the following after Boston's shootaround on Tuesday:
"I think it messes with your breathing a little bit. I have experienced some games where, I don't want to say (I was) struggling to breathe, but, you know, you get fatigued a lot quicker than normal.
While he said it has gotten better the more games he's played, Tatum is still having issues.
Since returning in late January, Tatum's numbers have dropped. In the 10 games before his diagnosis, he was averaging 26.9 points per game, while shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. After his return, Tatum has averaged 24.5 points per game, while shooting 42.7 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range. He hasn't been terrible since coming back, but he's not the same guy he was earlier in the season.
The Celtics are struggling right along with their star. They have lost four of their past five games and seven of their last 10. Boston has dropped to 13-13 and has fallen into fifth place in the Western Conference. Things are not headed in a great direction for Brad Stevens' squad.
Hopefully Tatum can feel like himself soon. The 22-year-old is a budding star and he's good for the NBA.