Rudy Gobert tests positive for COVID-19 again

The first time Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, the NBA didn’t even have health and safety protocols. Instead, he closed the League.

This time around, the Utah Jazz center could miss for just a few days.

Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the virus-related protocol list Thursday, something that didn’t even exist when he tested positive for the virus on March 11, 2020, the night the NBA closed for more than four. months and finally decided to end his stint inside a bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida.

He has been ruled out for Utah’s game on Friday in Toronto. It is not clear how long he will be on the sidelines; Typically, even with shorter return-to-play rules in place now than had been the case earlier this season, most players entering the protocols are out for at least a week.

Gobert did not play in Utah’s win at Denver on Wednesday night, with the team citing illness as the reason. The Jazz said Gobert took two rapid tests that day, both of which came back negative. But a PCR test, run overnight, came back Thursday with Gobert positive for the virus again, the team said.

Gobert becomes the second Jazz player on the protocol list, joining Joe Ingles. Utah entered the week as the only NBA team not to have a player in protocols this season, a streak that ended when Ingles was added to that roster Tuesday.

Gobert was originally dealing with flu-like symptoms on March 11, 2020, when the Jazz were in Oklahoma City for a game. He eventually tested positive for the virus, a result the Jazz and the NBA learned moments before the game against the Thunder began. That game was canceled, and about 90 minutes later, the 2019-20 season was called off.

The NBA, and the entire sports landscape, has not been the same since.