Alabama Says Nick Saban Does Not Have Coronavirus, Can Coach Saturday

Nick Saban, the Alabama coach who examined constructive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, has been “medically cleared” to direct the second-ranked Crimson Tide throughout Saturday evening’s recreation in opposition to No. three Georgia, the college mentioned.

Under the Southeastern Conference’s well being protocols, Saban was allowed to exit isolation far sooner than first anticipated as a result of he was asymptomatic and examined unfavourable for the virus thrice within the days following his preliminary constructive end result. That streak of unfavourable assessments, administered by way of a conference-sanctioned laboratory, led Alabama and convention officers to conclude that Saban had obtained a false constructive end result on Wednesday.

Alabama additionally mentioned Saban had undergone two further assessments that have been processed by one other lab and returned as unfavourable.

“Coach Saban is medically cleared to safely return to activity effective immediately,” Dr. Jimmy Robinson, a crew physician, mentioned in an announcement on Saturday, including that Saban “remained completely symptom-free.”

The league’s presidents and chancellors approved the policy on Oct. 8, and the conference included it in an update to its medical protocols on Monday, two days before Saban tested positive for the virus.

“I have to trust in the doctors and the medical people who make these protocols safe for all of us,” Saban, who spent months publicly urging fans to follow public health recommendations, said on ESPN on Saturday while he waited for the result of the morning’s test.

He added, “Our players have done a good job of practicing social distancing, and I think this experience has certainly made me have a lot of respect for what we should do, all of us, relative to social distancing, wearing a mask, washing our hands, staying apart, and we’re going to continue to do that.”

Saturday’s game is among the most anticipated matchups of the season, and it could do much to shape the trajectory of the race to reach the College Football Playoff. Had the conference’s laboratory not returned three negative results for Saban over the last few days, he would not have been able to coach during the game, either at the stadium or from home.

Saban is 5-1 against Georgia since his arrival at Alabama in 2007. Kirby Smart, who worked for Saban for nine seasons at Alabama, is Georgia’s coach.

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