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Bucks close practice facilities over virus concerns

Los Angeles—The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks have become the league’s latest team to close their practice facility in the wake of coronavirus testing, ESPN reported on Sunday.

Bucks close practice facilities over virus concerns
Giannis Antetokounmpo
The US sports network reported the Bucks, who are led by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, closed the facility after receiving results from COVID-19 tests conducted on Friday, although it wasn’t clear how many may have come back positive.

The team reportedly won’t allow players back to train until they depart on Thursday for Florida, where the NBA plans to resume play in a quarantine environment at Walt Disney World in Orlando starting on July 30.

The Bucks led the NBA with a record of 53-12 when play was suspended on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They will arrive in Orlando chasing a first NBA title since 1971.

They’re just the latest NBA team to halt individual workouts at their practice facilities over coronavirus concerns after the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat.

Teams aren’t allowed to begin team workouts until clearing quarantine in the “bubble” at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The season is scheduled to resume on July 30 with 22 teams jockeying for position in the 16-team playoffs that start August 17.

Meanwhile, Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo says he will sit out the remainder of the NBA season because he doesn’t want to risk re-injuring his surgically-repaired right knee.

Oladipo wants to complete his rehabilitation and hopes to get back to 100 percent fitness before playing competitive games again in the 2020-21 season.

“I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo told The Athletic. “I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent. 

Oladipo suffered a ruptured right quad tendon in a game against the Toronto Raptors 17 months ago. He underwent surgery on January 28, 2019.

By the time he starts playing again Oladipo will have undergone almost two years of rehab for the injury. 

“We totally respect and understand Victor’s decision to not play in the restart of the NBA’s season,” a Pacers spokesman said Friday. “The first priority for our players is, and always will be, their health. 

“The timing of the restart and lack of 5-on-5 activity makes it difficult ... for him to commit to playing at the high level he expects with regards to further injury. We look forward to having him back at full strength for the 2020-21 season.”

Oladipo still plans to travel to Orlando to workout with the club.

He missed most of this season before returning January 29 and playing in 13 games before the mid-March shutdown because of coronavirus. He averaged 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists this season. 

Topics: Milwaukee Bucks , coronavirus pandemic , testing , Giannis Antetokounmpo
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