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July 08, 2020

Phillies' Scott Kingery says COVID-19 'can creep up on you'

Infielder hopes to return to Philadelphia soon, but may not be ready for Opening Day

Philadelphia Phillies infielder Scott Kingery was among the group of players and coaches who tested positive for COVID-19, general manager Matt Klentak said on Tuesday.

For the 26-year-old, the experience was a nightmare all around.

In an interview with Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Kingery described his frustrating and energy-sapping experience with the virus.

"My fever spiked so high that I sweated through my sheets," Kingery said. "It left an imprint of my body."

When spring training was shut down in March, Kingery returned to his home in the Phoenix area, where he began to work out with a small group of baseball players.

In June, one of the people in Kingery's group tested positive for COVID-19, so he went to an urgent care center to get tested himself.

Days went by without receiving a result, and when it finally did arrive, the "negative" he heard back made no sense to him. He was experiencing the tell-tale waves of sickness: chills, fever, a "really annoying" loss of taste and smell, shortness of breath. He laid on his couch for three weeks, barely moving, and was certain his test must have been inaccurate. 

COVID-19 is not something to be taken lightly, Kingery warned. While several people he knows all have had different experiences with the virus — including some who were asymptomatic — Kingery said things can quickly take a turn for the worse.

“It really does spring on you fast,” Kingery said. “Even if you don’t think you’re in a position to be exposed. It comes on very fast. It can creep up on you and get you pretty bad like it did with me."

Though Kingery says he is now completely healthy and symptom-free, he urges everyone to take the precautions they can to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19.

The 60-game MLB season is slated to begin for the Phillies on July 24. Kingery, who hopes to return to Philadelphia soon, is not yet sure whether he'll be cleared by the league in time to return for the start of the season.