Coronavirus: Freeman returns to practice after scary battle with COVID-19

By Sports Desk July 18, 2020

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman returned to team workouts on Friday after a harrowing bout with COVID-19, which included a high fever of 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Early in his battle with the virus, the four-time All-Star selection experienced the peak of his fever, along with body aches, chills and a temporary loss of his senses of taste and smell.

"I said a little prayer that night," Freeman said in a video conference call on Saturday. "I've never been that hot before. My body was really, really hot ... I said, 'Please don't take me' because I wasn't ready."

Freeman said his fever started subsiding the next morning and that he has now been symptom-free for the past nine days.

He produced a second consecutive negative test on Friday, allowing him to return to training with the Braves at Truist Park.

Freeman said he only lost one pound during the ordeal and feels like he still has his strength, although the team are yet to decide if he will be ready for their season-opening game on Friday against the New York Mets.

For now, he seems content just to be healthy and back on a baseball diamond.

The Braves posted a video to the team's Twitter account of Freeman saying, "This is wonderful", as he walked onto the field with his bat and glove for Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage.

"I feel like I'm a kid in a candy store again," he said on Saturday's video conference. "You forget sometimes how much you love this game. I did truly miss it. I was so excited when I got to the yard."

The Braves made Freeman's positive test public, with his permission, on July 4.

Freeman has played 10 MLB seasons – all with Atlanta – while hitting .293 with 227 home runs. He reached career highs last season with 38 home runs and 121 RBI, leading the Braves to 97 wins and a National League East division title.

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