Washington Nationals star Juan Soto tested positive for the novel Coronavirus just hours before the MLB season kicked off.
The 21-year-old was confirmed to have contracted the virus on Thursday, ruling him out of his team’s clash against the New York Yankees later in the night.
Soto’s COVID-19 status was disclosed by Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo during a zoom call with reporters.
A statement on the team’s website said the left fielder is asymptomatic, but gave no timeline for his return.
The youngster last played for the Nationals in an exhibition game on Tuesday and undertook COVID-19 tests the same day with other players.
However, although that of the other players came out negative, his turned out to be positive following the outcome of the results on Thursday.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said the news “crushed me when I heard he had contracted it.”
“Unfortunately, it hit us. And it hit us at a bad time. Opening Day, I know Juan was looking forward to being out there today with his teammates. I just wish him well, and that he gets back as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, per Major League Baseball protocols, Soto will now need two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, before he can return to play.