Even after recovering from COVID-19 symptoms, Indiana Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon isn’t leaving anything to chance.
Brogdon has been practicing with a mask on since arriving in the Disney NBA bubble outside of Orlando, Florida, and intends to do so until scrimmages start next week.
“It’s something I’ve been doing for my conditioning and just to be considerate of the guys just in case guys are worried about me previously contracting the virus,” Brogdon said. “Just wearing it to be cautious and make guys feel comfortable.”
Brogdon said he’s completely recovered from the virus after spending 14 days in quarantine and is working his way back up to contribute when the Pacers begin scrimmage games next week and restart the season Aug. 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I had very mild symptoms, had a fever and a headache, but you know there are people that come down with the virus that have it way worse than I do, so I was very fortunate, very blessed,” Brogdon said. “I completely have gotten over the virus. I feel great, so I’m back to 100%.”
Pacers coach Nate McMillan said Brogdon has looked in good shape through the first two practices since returning to the team.
“We’re still cautious about how we are bringing him back,” McMillan said. “Right now, he’s working with the gold team, which is our third team, and we are slowly working him back into shape, conditioning, and in another day or so, we’ll put him with the blue team, those starters.”
Brogdon, who was averaging 17.8 points and 7.1 assists before the season was shut down last March due to the coronavirus pandemic, also said he’s recovered from a torn quad muscle he suffered shortly before the shutdown. He’s not sure if he’ll be on a minutes restriction when he comes back to action for the eight games in August before the start of the playoffs.
“That’s definitely something for me and coach to discuss I think,” Brogdon said. “Definitely in this mindset, and my mind is the best thing, is for me to work may way back in, especially with scrimmages. We have three scrimmages, so it’s not going to be a thing where I play 30, 35 minutes.
“I’m definitely going to work my minutes up, sort of get back into it, allow my body to adjust to that game, that game routine, that game place, so that’s definitely something we’re going to be smart with.”
Brogdon, who took part in social justice protests in his native Atlanta in late May following George Floyd’s death, intends to wear a social justice slogan on the back of his Pacers jersey when the season restarts but will not disclose it at this time. Brogdon’s late grandfather, John Hurst Adams, was a reverend and civil rights leader who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“That was something that is very important to me, personally,” Brogdon said. “It was a very tricky process. Being on the executive committee, you get to see the ins and outs of the negotiations at the table with the NBA. There’s a lot of push on both sides.
“The players want one thing, the NBA wants something else. We had to come to an agreement. Whether or not you like it, it is what it is at this point.”