Hernández returns to Jays lineup after bout with COVID-19

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernández returned to the starting lineup Friday night against Atlanta after missing three weeks because of a positive test for the coronavirus.

Hernández went on the injured list April 9 after he was exposed to an infected person outside the team. He started experiencing COVID-19 symptoms a few days later and tested positive.

“It wasn’t a happy moment,” Hernández said. “It wasn’t happy days. It was bad for four, five days but then after that it was back to normal again. I made it through and I’m here now.”

Hernández said his wife first tested positive and later so did his son but both are fine now. His symptoms included body soreness, headaches and fever.

“I was feeling a little sick,” Hernández said. “I think they were waiting for it because when you get exposed to somebody that close, you might end up getting the virus.”

Hernández was planning to get vaccinated in early April but got ill before he could receive one. He got his first shot a couple days ago.

“I’m glad I’m back, and happy to be with teammates and my team,” Hernández said.

Hernández, who is the second Toronto slugger to return from the injured list this week, was in right field and hitting fourth.

George Springer went 0 for 4 in his Blue Jays debut Wednesday against Washington after missing time in spring training and the start of the season because of a strained oblique and later due to a right quadriceps strain.

Springer signed a team-record $150 million, six-year deal this offseason.

Outfielder Jonathan Davis was optioned to the team’s alternate site and right-hander Tanner Roark was designated for assignment.

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