Yankees’ Jonathan Loaisiga addresses positive COVID -19 test, potential return

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Jonathan Loaisiga road greys pitching
Jonathan Loaisiga road greys pitching

A week ago, Major League Baseball cancelled the Yankees’ big game against the Boston Red Sox because of the Yanks' COVID-19 outbreaks. On Thursday, the team took its first step toward becoming whole again.

Jonathan Loiasiga, the first Yankees player to test positive in this outbreak (the team’s second of the season), threw a bullpen session in the afternoon and said he might return for this weekend’s series in Boston.

“The plan was to do a bullpen today and see how I feel tomorrow and wait and see what the team decides to do,” Loaisiga said on the field, through translator Marlon Abreu. “But overall, I felt pretty good doing this bullpen.”

The Yankees currently have six players on the COVID injured list: Loiasiga, Aaron Judge, Wandy Peralta, Kyle Higashioka, Gio Urshela and Nestor Cortes.

Loaisiga tested positive in Houston on July 10, making him eligible to return following the ten-day waiting period. The others tested positive the following week.

Loaisiga only knew that he was positive for the virus because of his All-Star break travel plans. As a fully vaccinated player, he does not have to undergo regular testing, but did so because he was planning to return to Nicaragua to visit family.

“If you’re visiting Nicaragua you need to show proof of a negative COVID test that’s less than 72 hours old,” Loaisiga said.

He never exhibited symptoms. But because of his positive test, other teammates were tested.

“[It was] very surprising,” he said. “I was actually getting ready to fly down to see my family. So when the test comes back positive it's shocking. You feel sad because it was an opportunity to see your family. Unfortunately, God had other plans."

He and Peralta drove from Houston to Austin during the break, where his agent found them a park in which to play catch and train.

Loaisiga has been a revelation in the Yankees’ bullpen this year, posting a 2.11 ERA and 0.96 WHIP