Los Angeles Dodger closer Kenley Jansen arrived to Dodgers camp late because he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Jansen, 32, told reporters on Sunday, including MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that he would be ready for the 2020 season and he did not want to opt out.
"I always wanted to play," Jansen said. "I love this game. I wanted to play for the fans. Not only Dodger fans, but baseball fans around the world to have something to watch on TV."
Jansen said that his four-year-old son tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing a fever, among other symptoms. Jansen, his wife, Gianni, and seven-year-old daughter all tested positive soon after. Jansen said that his first COVID-19 test was negative, but a day later, he tested positive.
"It is real, it is serious" Jansen said. "Everyone in the world -- just take it serious, man. Just wear your mask at all times. Trust me, it happened so fast. We tried to do everything to avoid this virus but we all got it in the house."
The All-Star closer said that he managed to stay in baseball shape during the league shutdown while working out at his home gym in Los Angeles.
"I feel great," Jansen said. "It's just two weeks that I couldn't do anything."
Jansen has had multiple heart surgeries and has missed time with atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes the heart to beat out of rhythm. During the 2018-19 offseason, Jansen underwent a second procedure to correct abnormal heart tissue. The operation aimed to scar or destroy tissue in the heart that is allowing incorrect electrical signals to create an abnormal heart rhythm. Regarding COVID-19, Jansen would be considered a high-risk individual due to his past heart issues.
High-risk would include people who have heart disease, lung disease, cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Coronavirus is commonly considered a respiratory illness, but many of those who have tested positive can experience a wide range of different symptoms, including possible effects on the heart.