Milwaukee Bucks wing Pat Connaughton disclosed Monday afternoon that he’s not with the team in Orlando due to testing positive for COVID-19.
As they continue to gear up to restart their season down in Orlando, the Milwaukee Bucks are running less than full strength.
We learned last week that the Bucks have been without their star point guard, Eric Bledsoe, who revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had yet to clear the protocols to join the squad in Orlando. Now another notable Bucks player has revealed that he’s yet to join the team in Orlando for those very same reasons.
Bucks wing Pat Connaughton announced to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Matt Velazquez that he has also tested positive for COVID-19, but is in good spirits and eager to join his teammates in Walt Disney World:
“I did not travel with our team after I tested positive for COVID-19,” Connaughton wrote in his statement. “I am healthy and I feel great and I am excited to join my teammates in Orlando once I meet all the NBA protocols.”
At this time, it’s unclear whether Connaughton’s positive test also triggered the shutting down of the Bucks’ practice facility, along with Bledsoe’s, before most of the team’s traveling party had departed for Orlando a week-and-a-half ago. And along those same lines, it’s not yet known whether Connaughton is on a similar timeline to get to Orlando as Bledsoe appears to be nearing.
But first and foremost, it’s good to hear that Connaughton is doing well in light of testing positive for COVID-19 as the health of all Bucks players and officials certainly come first in these surreal times.
Connaughton’s positive diagnosis also reinforces the sleuthing that Bucks fans have done with videos and interviews released by the team since arriving in Orlando. The normally public presence that Connaughton has been throughout his time in Milwaukee was noticeably absent, all of which prompted the speculation to whether he was in Orlando to begin with.
Now with scrimmages starting to ramp up this week and the team’s season set to restart in 11 days, the Bucks will have to rely on their depth to make up for Connaughton’s absence until he’s cleared and able to return to action.
Fortunately, the wing position is a source of strength for this Bucks team as head coach Mike Budenholzer has a multitude of options between Sterling Brown, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews to make up for Connaughton’s absence in the mean time.
When Connaughton and Bledsoe is cleared for his return and joins the team in Orlando, we’ll have all that covered over here at Behind the Buck Pass. Stay tuned.