Jazz’s Gobert says sense of smell ‘still not 100%’

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert still has trouble smelling after testing positive for the coronavirus in March, he told French newspaper L’Equipe.

“The taste has returned, but the smell is still not 100%,” Gobert said in quotes published Wednesday. “I can smell smells, but not from afar. I spoke to specialists, who told me that it could take up to a year [to return to normal].”

Gobert was the first reported NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, prompting the league to suspend its season in March.

Asked if he was “100%” to play, the Frenchman said he wouldn’t know until he was back in regular competition. He said he still feels “strange things” but wasn’t sure if that was because of the virus or simply from the long layoff from basketball, which he called the longest in his life.

Overall, he said, “I feel like I’m in good shape,” and that he doesn’t feel more tired than usual.

Describing his symptoms a month and a half ago, Gobert said he had some “little things” that scared him, such as feeling as if he had “ants in my toes.” He said he had only “very slight” inflammation in his lungs when he went running in the mountains two weeks after his diagnosis.

Worse than the physical symptoms, he said, were the stress and fear that came with the virus.

In an interview with Le Parisien, another French newspaper, published last Monday, Gobert said the criticism he received following his positive tests had an effect on him. Gobert has previously apologized for his careless behavior before he was aware that he was infected.

Gobert said that “of course” he regretted mockingly touching the microphones in an interview room before his diagnosis but also noted that he believes it was “less risky” to touch the equipment than it was to speak over them, as the virus is commonly transmitted through respiratory droplets.

Gobert also told Le Parisien that he thought the Black Lives Matter movement was “justified” and said the money that the players and NBA make by resuming their season can be put to good causes such as education.

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