Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said COVID-19 is still having an impact him, three weeks after he returned to action. Nick Wass/Associated Press

It’s been three weeks since Jayson Tatum returned from his COVID-19 hiatus, but he said he still feels lingering effects from his bout with the coronavirus.

It’s not all the time or even every game, but there are stretches where he gets tired much quicker than he normally would.

“I think it messes with your breathing a little bit. I have experienced some games where, I don’t want to say struggling to breathe, but you get fatigued a lot quicker than normal,” he said Tuesday after shootaround before the Celtics’ game against Denver. “Running up and down the court a few times, it’s easy to get out of breath or tired a lot faster. It’s just something I’m working on. It’s gotten better, but I still deal with it from time to time.”

Tatum, who missed five games while in quarantine, said he’s talked about the experience with other players who have suffered from COVID-19.

“I’ve talked to other guys who have had it,” he said. “They said they experienced the same thing. It just gets better over time. With as much as we play, I guess it just takes a little more time.”

Tatum’s minutes have actually gone up since he returned. In his 10 games post-COVID, he’s averaged 24.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 36.0 minutes per game compared to 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 34.6 minutes in 10 games before.

His 35.3 minutes per game this season is 12th in the NBA and leads the Celtics.

He said he’s kept the coaching staff and Celtics’ medical personnel appraised of anything going on with him physically.

“It’s something we’ve talked about. It’s not like every game where I feel like that the whole game. It’s just certain stretches where breathing is just out of whack,” he said. “I just talk to the medical staff, the coaching staff about it. It’s gotten better. I guess it’s just a long process.”


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