Magic coach Steve Clifford cleared to return after testing positive for COVID-19

Ryan Young
·2 min read

After missing six games due to COVID-19, Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford will return to the court on Wednesday.

Clifford, the team announced on Monday, has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols and can rejoin the Magic for their final seven games of the season.

He did not travel with the team to Detroit for their game against the Pistons on Monday, however, and will have to wait for their home game against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

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Clifford tests positive for COVID

Clifford tested positive for the first time on April 22, the same day that he received his second dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

He had two negative tests the next day, and initially thought that he had returned a false positive. Two days later, though, he had a second positive test result — which forced the team to cancel practice and sent him into the league’s health and safety protocol.

Clifford, 59, said he’s been asymptomatic and “feeling great” on Saturday, per the Orlando Sentinel. Still, he had to step aside and hand over the reigns to assistant coach Tyrone Corbin, who led the Magic to a 2-3 record in his absence headed into Monday night.

“I totally understand it,” Clifford said on April 23, via the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s frustrating for me, but the league has to do what’s best for the players and for everybody so we can continue to go forward and play the games and we all have to abide by their decisions.”

Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford tested positive for COVID-19 last month, and will have missed six games before he returns on Wednesday night. (AP/David Zalubowski)

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