After a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and subsequent quarantine, Colorado Rockies All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon returned to Coors Field on Monday.
Colorado Rockies fans were stunned in late June when news of Charlie Blackmon‘s COVID-19 diagnosis was leaked. After working out to prepare for the season at Coors Field, the four-time All-Star outfielder was sidelined and quarantined until his return to 20th and Blake on Monday.
Rockies manager Bud Black told media members that he was “optimistic” that Blackmon would be ready to return to the field in time for Colorado’s July 24 opener against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.
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Blackmon, meanwhile, called himself “lucky” after his experience with COVID-19 in his Zoom call with local media, including Rox Pile.
"“I’m lucky that it didn’t affect me that bad,” Blackmon said. “If I were to explain this experience in terms of the setbacks that I’ve had in my life, this is a minor, minor glitch, a minor speed bump. It’s not something that is going to throw me off. It’s not something that I was scared of or that I’ll be scared of for any of the guys in this locker room.”"
The 34-year-old Blackmon said his COVID-19 symptoms could be compared to a mild case of the flu.
"“I had a headache. That was the most prominent thing,” Blackmon said. “I had a bit of a cough. And then I had some body aches. I just felt sick, but it only lasted for about 36 hours.”"
Blackmon said he expected his recovery to be “pretty quick,” saying that he has had ultrasounds and X-rays of his heart and lungs to check for any lingering effects of the virus.
In 2019, Blackmon became the sixth player in Rockies history to log four or more consecutive seasons of 25 or more home runs. He currently stands in the top 10 in franchise history in several categories including homers (eighth), triples (47), and games played (1,050).
The All-Star outfielder will be a key to Colorado’s success in 2020 and said it was his goal to be ready for Opening Day. However, he also said being on the field on July 24 was not as important as his lasting, overall health.
"“Is it the worst thing if I’m not ready for the very first game? No, as long as it means that I’m preparing to play and not suffering setbacks.” Blackmon said."
Blackmon told media he wasn’t sure how he contracted the virus. However, he came back to Coors Field on Monday thankful that, even though he had COVID-19, it struck him when it did rather than later in the summer.
"“I would much rather have gotten sick when I did rather than get sick now or get sick mid-season,” Blackmon said. “I’m looking at it as more of a positive that I got it out of the way.”"