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Al Horford is ‘okay’ with COVID-19 but could miss season opener


“Nobody wants to be in this situation, so there isn’t much of a positive about it.”

Al Horford of the Boston Celtics watches during the first quarter of the preseason game against the Orlando Magic at TD Garden. Photo by Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Celtics big man Al Horford is “doing well” after testing positive for COVID-19, according to Celtics coach Ime Udoka, but he may not be ready for the first game of the season.

The Celtics announced Horford’s positive test on Tuesday. They open their season Oct. 20 against the Knicks, which could put Horford’s status at risk based on the quarantine window. Udoka said Horford tested positive the day before the team was announced.

“It’s a 10 day schedule from the start and then it will be close depending on how many days it has been since he tested positive,” Udoka said. “And then from there you must have your two [negative] results, a similar situation that I experienced before training camp. Timeline side, it will be very close.

“We’ll see what happens with that, but we should definitely have Jaylen [Brown] back by then.

Brown tested positive for COVID on Friday.

Udoka said Horford “is doing well”.

“Obviously, no one wants to be in this situation, so there’s nothing really positive about it,” Udoka said. “But in terms of overall health, he’s doing well.”

Last season, the Celtics were affected more by COVID absences than any other team. Udoka was asked if these tests were frustrating given the difficulties of last year.

“I saw the number of games missed last year,” Udoka said. “We really hit hard last year. And so I knew it when I entered. Obviously, this is a frustrating thing. And given that I also dealt with it just before, I guess the silver lining is that when it does – if there is one – [it’s] in pre-season. You miss games where it doesn’t officially matter, but it still breaks the rhythm of some of the things we did in the first few weeks and it’s not good overall.

“But like I said, it gives the other guys a chance to jump in, see different lineups and see what some of the kids can do.”