Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst. To this point, Jokic has been asymptomatic, and the positive test came last week. Jokic, who has spent the hiatus in his native Serbia, has not yet been cleared to return to the United States. That is expected to take place next week.
Depending on his health at that point, that could have Jokic on the floor in time for mandatory individual workouts in Denver, which are slated to begin on July 1. The Nuggets, like most teams, are expected to travel to Orlando for the Disney bubble on July 7, with team workouts beginning on July 9. The resumed season is set to kick off on July 30. In all likelihood, Jokic will be healthy enough to take the floor well before that. A member of the Denver organization tested positive in March, but Jokic is the first Nugget known to have tested positive.
Jokic’s time in Europe, aside from the coronavirus, has otherwise been extraordinarily healthy. Pictures and video of the Nuggets star surfaced earlier in June showing extreme weight loss for the hefty big man.
“He sent me a picture. No shirt on. He’s got abs,” Nuggets president Tim Connelly said. “I’ve never seen him have abs before.”
As with his weight loss, there is no telling how the virus will impact Jokic’s game when he returns to the court. Losing time with his team in Denver as well as precious days on the court for individual workouts will hurt, but Jokic’s current level of fitness suggests that he has not missed out on much from a workout perspective over the past several months. That he is asymptomatic a week after testing positive is a good sign. Hopefully, for both his health and the sake of Denver’s championship hopes, Jokic is able to recover quickly and rejoin his team before they travel to Orlando.