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NBA-Jazz center Gobert in health and safety protocols

Randy Mancini 8 Jan 6
FILE PHOTO: NBA: Utah Jazz at New Orleans Pelicans
FILE PHOTO: Jan 3, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) prepares to shoot a free throw against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

January 7, 2022

(Reuters) – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, whose COVID-19 diagnosis stunned the world of professional sport near the start of the pandemic, has entered health and safety protocols, the National Basketball Association (NBA) team said on Thursday.

The Frenchman’s March 2020 diagnosis was the first in a series of COVID-19 positives that effectively shut down North American sport. He tested positive days after infamously touching reporters’ microphones at the end of a news conference, emerging as an early cautionary tale of the pandemic.

The twice NBA All-Star, who is over seven feet tall and specialises in shot blocking and defense hence his nickname The Stifle Tower, was one of two players listed as out due to health and safety protocols, according to Thursday’s Jazz injury report.

The team are third in the Western Conference, with 28 wins and 10 losses.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)