Celtics

Jayson Tatum explained how his battle with COVID-19 still affects his breathing

"I guess it’s just a long process."

Jayson Tatum dribbles against the Toronto Raptors. Michael Dwyer/AP Photo

Jayson Tatum said he still has some breathing issues stemming from his experience with COVID-19 and that he now gets fatigued a lot faster than before.

The Celtics star shared that his situation has improved since returning from quarantine but that he still occasionally experiences lingering effects of the illness.

“Just running up and down the court a few times, it’s easier to get out of breath or tired a lot faster,” Tatum told reporters Tuesday. “I’ve noticed that since I’ve had COVID. It’s just something I’m working on. It’s gotten better since the first game I played, but I still deal with it from time to time.”

Before his bout with COVID-19, Tatum was averaging 34.6 minutes per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. Since he’s returned, his minutes have increased slightly to 36 per game, while his shooting percentages have dipped to 42.7 from the field and 36.9 percent from distance.

The issue doesn’t typically affect him for entire games, he said, but it does come in spurts.

“It’s just certain stretches where breathing is a little out of whack, and I talk to the medical staff and coaching staff about it,” he said. “It’s gotten better obviously from the first game I came back and played. I guess it’s just a long process. I’ve talked to other guys that have had it, and they say they experienced the same thing, and it kind of just gets better over time. But as much as we play, I guess it takes a little bit longer.”

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The Celtics were 7-3 before he contracted COVID-19, 2-3 in the five games he missed, and are 4-7 since his return.

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