October 19, 2021

White Sox GM Hahn: Abreu delayed by COVID-19 antibody test, is asymptomatic

When spring training opened last week, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Jose Abreu was expected to be on the field at Camelback Ranch Wednesday after having additional COVID-19 antibody testing.

Abreu did not report to Camelback Ranch as hoped, and the American League’s reigning MVP might not be in camp until Monday as he follows MLB protocols for a positive coronavirus test.

“Jose, who is completely asymptomatic, believes he contracted a mild case of the disease in January, which is reinforced by the presence of COVID antibodies in additional testing,” Hahn said in a statement to reporters Wednesday. “Other than being frustrated, Jose feels great and, like the rest of us, is looking forward to when he rejoins the club in the not too distant future.”

Manager Tony La Russa has been in touch with Abreu, who has led the American League in RBI the last two seasons and was voted MVP in 2020.

“Clearly, it’s always about health first,” La Russa said. “You can’t beat health. He’s got to take care of himself on the health front first, and our team also needs him to take care of himself. If he can come back Friday, or maybe Monday — Monday is March 1 — we’ve got a month.

“So the good fortune, if there is a good fortune, is it’s at the beginning of the camp. And he’s going to be so anxious to go to work we’re going to have to tie a rope around him, I think.”