Hoiberg on bout with COVID-19: “I got a little scared, to be honest with you”

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 11:57 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 11:11 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg woke up in the middle of the night on Friday, January 15th. He had chills, a headache, and a sore throat. The next morning, Hoiberg tested for COVID-19 which came back positive.

“The virus hit me hard,” Hoiberg said. “I got a little scared to be honest with you.”

The 48-year-old, who’s had two open heart surgeries, had multiple symptoms which persisted over a week. He never developed a high-grade fever, nor did his oxygen levels drop. Hoiberg says he had multiple tests on his heart, which returned normal results.

Recently, Hoiberg returned to his office at the Hendricks Training Complex following the Huskers’ 20-day pause of team activities. Fifteen of Nebraska’s 30 “Tier 1 Personnel” contracted the virus, causing the Huskers to postpone multiple games.

Hoiberg says he’s still battling fatigue and he hasn’t fully regained his sense of smell.

“After practice I feel really tired,” Hoiberg said. The Huskers held its first practice on Sunday, though a few players remain out due to COVID-19 protocols. On Monday, the Huskers practiced with only seven players.

“We’re working our way back... slowly,” Hoiberg said. The head coach notes the team’s conditioning regressed during the shutdown.

Nebraska plans to play its first game in nearly a month when the Huskers visit Michigan State on Saturday. Hoiberg’s team has played just 12 games, while most league opponents have played between 15 and 18 games. Nebraska hopes to reschedule its postponed contests over the next month. Hoiberg compares the upcoming schedule to the NBA, where the Huskers may play on back-to-back nights.

Nebraska did not consider cancelling the remainder of the season, according to Hoiberg.

“(COVID-19) spread like wildfire,” Hoiberg said. “Its scary how quickly it can infect your team.”

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