Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said he's still dealing with the effects of COVID-19 months after his diagnosis, though he's "very close" to being back to full strength.
Following the Celtics' win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday (April 14) night, Tatum revealed he's began taking an inhaler since testing positive, but believes he's improving.
“I take an inhaler before the game since I’ve tested positive,” Tatum said via Boston.com. "This has kind of helped with that and opened up my lungs and, you know, I never took an inhaler before. So that’s something different. I for sure feel better now than I did a month ago.”
Tatum told reporters Celtics trainers have not revealed when he'll be able to stop using the inhaler and, like many others who have battled the virus, the 23-year-old's recovery process remains a mystery.
Tatum tested positive for COVID-19 on January 9 and returned to the Celtics' lineup on January 26. In February, his shooting percentage saw a major decrease, dropping to just 39.7%, but has since seen it rise back up as time has passed since his diagnosis.
Tatum finished Tuesday's game with 32 points and has averaged 29.4 points and a 51% shooting average during the month of April.
“I’ve talked to guys that said it took months for them to kind of catch their breath, and get their wind back. And I think I’m kind of on the same track with that,” Tatum said. “I for sure feel better. I don’t feel necessarily the same before I got it when I was playing. I definitely know there’s a difference. But I feel pretty good.”
Boston has had the most COVID-related absences of any NBA franchise during the 2020-21 season.