Phoenix Suns guard Ricky Rubio told reporters on Wednesday that he didn’t join the team in Orlando, Florida, until this week because of a positive COVID-19 test. Rubio said he joined the team two days ago and Tuesday was his first practice.
Phoenix has its first scrimmage on Thursday although it’s unclear if Rubio will play.
“I just had two practices so I have to talk with strength coach, [Suns coach Monty Williams] and the whole team,” Rubio said. “I feel good but we have to be smart about it. It’s a preseason game. We have to figure out a plan that’s day by day. We can’t plan ahead like other times. We didn’t know when I was going to come so we have to play it day by day.”
Rubio declined to say when he first tested positive for the virus but did mention that it was harder on him because while he was in Phoenix, his family stayed back in Spain.
Now, he says, he has to be careful with how he ramps back up and gets ready to play once again.
“I’m good. I don’t have symptoms,” Rubio said. “Now that I’m back playing, after being out for three or four months, your legs feel it, your lungs feel it. That’s something I have to work on and figure out how to give my best to the team and focus on my health too.”
Williams said he would meet with his staff Wednesday night to determine Rubio’s playing status moving forward.
Rubio, who has been involved with the league’s social justice movement while he has been out, was on a recent league call with Breonna Taylor’s mother and lawyer.
Taylor, a Black medical worker, was killed in Louisville, Kentucky, in March after police executed a “no-knock” warrant and shot the 26-year-old at least eight times, per reports.
In his remarks Wednesday Rubio tried to put in focus the NBA’s return to basketball in the current social climate.
“It’s tough but the times we live in right now, we have to adjust to the uncomfortable,” Rubio said. “The NBA did a really good job of keeping us safe down here. At the end of the day, basketball, right now, it’s not the first thing we’re thinking of when it comes to live. There’s a lot on our plate and everybody’s plate. We have to think for the big picture but we’re here and ready to play.”
Rubio is not the only player who hasn’t been with the team in Orlando. The Suns are without guards Elie Okobo and Jalen Lecque for what the team is calling personal matters. Center Aron Baynes told Stadium that he tested positive for COVID-19 and isn’t with the team yet.