Cavaliers' Larry Nance Says Crohn's Disease Makes Him Vulnerable to COVID-19

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers' Larry Nance Jr. drives against the Brooklyn Nets in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. is at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus because of his Crohn's disease, which is treated with immunosuppressive medication, Nance told Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. 

"You'd hear every now and again somebody say like, 'Oh we're blowing this out of proportion, it's not that big of a deal.' And for me, it was like, 'What?' This is a huge deal," Nance said. "This is something that we've really got to take seriously."

If Nance did contract COVID-19, there is a greater chance he would face severe symptoms. As a result, he's taken extra precautions and hasn't left his house in over a week.

He also has a nurse coming to his house next week in order to perform an infusion of the medication he takes every six weeks to help keep the disease in remission. 

The NBA suspended its regular season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

For Nance, the positive test was an eye-opening experience:

"That was actually pretty terrifying. They were still coming out with information about it. Yeah, I was scared for myself and my teammates, obviously. It was one of those that just kind of had to sit back and kind of wait. Like, all right, we’ll find out in a little bit if I start coughing or something, that like it’s probably not great."

Several NBA players have contracted the virus since then, including Donovan Mitchell, Christian Wood and Kevin Durant. Marcus Smart announced on Twitter Thursday he tested positive.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been more than 209,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including over 7,000 in the United States.