Kings shut down training after player tests positive for COVID-19

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The Sydney Kings have suspended training until further notice after a player returned a positive COVID-19 test.

The NBL club is at the start of pre-season with the league pushing back the start of the season until November 18.

All players and staff deemed as close contacts will be tested and self-isolate following NSW Health protocols.

NBL champions Melbourne United were hit by a COVID-19 outbreak last year at the start of Victoria’s second wave and later went on to win the championship.

The Kings said in a statement they had resumed training under strict NSW Health guidelines as an elite sporting team and the majority of their players and coaches had had their first vaccination shot.

Kings chief executive Chris Pongrass said the health of the player was their top priority.

“Our primary concern is for the health and wellbeing of our players, staff and their families and ensuring that we adhere to NSW Health regulations to mitigate any further risk to the wider community,” Pongrass said.

“We will continue to work with the NBL and NSW Health to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff.

“While this is another hurdle for our playing group, we are resilient and our preparations for NBL22 continue; we look forward to being back out on court in front of our fans at Qudos Bank Arena in the coming months for what will be an exciting season.”

NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said while the NBL wasn’t mandating vaccinations, players or coaches who weren’t vaccinated would find themselves unable to play in every game nor travel into many states.

“We have been working closely with Sydney and the relevant health authorities to ensure all protocols are followed with the health and wellbeing of those impacted and the community a priority,” Loeliger said.

“At this point, we are not going to mandate vaccinations for players, coaches and staff, but we will continue to educate our people and will strongly recommend it.

“It may be that those who don’t get vaccinated won’t be able to travel between states and countries, or even enter certain venues, and therefore won’t be able to participate in some games when the season begins.

“Individuals that decide not to get vaccinated could be subjected to different rules depending on various government protocols and restrictions.”

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