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Hertl Describes COVID Ordeal

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Tomas Hertl took a big step toward returning to action today, participating in San Jose Sharks practice for the first time since he tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 24.

“I actually don’t feel bad. We’ll see tomorrow if everything is right,” Hertl said of his first practice. “I can’t remember the last time, two weeks, I did absolutely nothing. Probably 10 years ago.”

Hertl also underwent an NHL-mandated cardiac screening for COVID-positive players coming out of isolation.

“Everything should be fine. Maybe not my legs right now,” he said, laughing. “Otherwise I’m good.”

Hertl described his two-week ordeal today.

“It was kind of a big surprise when I wake up,” Hertl said, most likely about Feb. 24, “and the doctor texts me that I tested positive.”

Re-tracing his steps, Hertl has no idea where he could’ve contracted the coronavirus.

“I’ve been going absolutely nowhere and always wearing masks and stuff,” Hertl offered. “When you’re ordering DoorDash, I don’t know if somebody can give [it to] me like that? But I always wash my hands, always wear my mask.”

But Hertl is grateful that he didn’t pass COVID-19 to either his teammates or his opponents. He believes that he may have had the coronavirus all the way back to the San Jose Sharks’ tilt in St. Louis on Feb. 20.

“I flew from St. Louis, everybody on the plane. [Simek] was next to me. But nobody got it, it was kind of weird it’s only me,” Hertl said.

For Hertl too, it was definitely not an asymptomatic case. His first “three days were not great.”

“I got a pretty high fever and I was sweating all night. I had to switch my sheets. There was probably one day of fever and next probably 2-3 days, I got a big headache every time I stand up,” Hertl shared. “I was really tired after [even after a] three hours nap. I wake up even more tired.”

The worst was yet to come, not for Hertl, but his wife Aneta and new-born Tobias.

“My wife got it two days after me. We got a little baby, he got it too,” Hertl said. “After 3-4 days, I started feeling good. I was just helping with the baby because my wife started to feel not great.

“You never know because he’s four months old and everybody gets the virus differently. But we were lucky. We got through it and we’re all healthy and happy again doing all the [normal] stuff.”

But even as his family was getting out of the COVID woods, the coronavirus wasn’t quite done wreaking havoc on Hertl.

“When I thought it was over, I got a big rash on my body for two days,” Hertl related. “But after that, it was almost gone. After 10 days, I felt great again.”

Hertl is ready to re-join the San Jose Sharks and continue his march to 500 career NHL games.

“[I got a] physical injury, I got COVID, seems like I can’t get any more unlucky [in this],” Hertl said of this pursuit, now at 470 games and counting. “I want to play as soon as possible because I’m done missing games.”

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