AJ Pollock reported to Los Angeles Dodgers Summer Camp nearly one week after the team officially began workouts at Dodger Stadium, and he revealed the delayed arrival being due to a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test one month ago.
“It was a wild ride,” Pollock said. “I was in Arizona, my air conditioning broke and I didn’t sleep at all that night. I had two hours of sleep, so I had a little bit of a headache and body aches.
“Just thought it was because I didn’t sleep well but I got a little more of a headache throughout the day and obviously with having the baby, wanted to be super careful, so I got tested. I had a couple more days of symptoms like body aches, a little congestion, loss of smell. It was crazy. It was frightening.
Complicating matters for Pollock and his wife Kate was the birth of their daughter, Maddi, three months premature. Pollock and Kate have spent countless hours in the hospital and been overly cautious since Maddi was born in May.
That made Pollock contracting the virus all the more puzzling. “I didn’t think I had coronavirus. Even when they said I had it, I didn’t really think I did, because I couldn’t think of one way I got it,” Pollock said.
Pollock falling ill and experiencing symptoms also added another layer to considering whether or not he would play this season. Shortly after the berth of his daughter, Pollock indicated he would need to consider opting out in the best interest of his family.
In reality, Kate wound up being a factor in the 32-year-old reporting to the Dodgers. “I thought it was going to be a lot harder,” Pollock said of the discussion. “I think when I brought it up to her, she said, ‘Can you really look at the guys winning the World Series from our couch?’ I was like, ‘I can’t. But I want to do what’s best for you and Maddi.’
“It’s really hard. I think getting the coronavirus put things in perspective because of how careful I was. I was staying safe and staying at home, but I got it. We’re still being very, very careful, but I always want to play whenever I can.
“And I think Kate wants to see me play and do that if I can. I think both sides — if I chose no or yes — both sides would be for or against it. It helps when your family is on board.”
Late arrival, but prepared for Opening Day
Although Pollock was limited to hospital visits and otherwise quarantining, he benefitted from having a home gym and batting cage. “I feel good,” he said. “I was able to throw and hit whenever I wanted. Most of my day was spent in the hospital, but whenever I wasn’t, I was hitting, throwing, running and doing as much as I could. I feel really good.
“You just have to get used to being in cleats, standing around, running and all that stuff, so I’ll be a little sore. Honestly, I’m not too wired about it. I’ve dealt with a lot of short runways due to injuries throughout my career. I feel like I’m in a really good spot right now.”
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