Florida’s Johnson leaves hospital 10 days after collapse

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida forward Keyontae Johnson is being released from the hospital 10 days after collapsing on the court at Florida State and needing emergency medical attention.

The school released a statement from his family saying, “We continue to be amazed at the pace of his recovery and look forward to spending Christmas together as a family.”

The family added that it will share “any information we think could help others” regarding the cause and extent of Johnson’s illness.

Kentucky’s John Calipari is one of many coaches in college basketball who have said they would like to know if Johnson’s collapse was related to his positive COVID-19 test months earlier.

“As much as everyone involved wants firm answers, the process to draw definitive conclusions continues, and we ask for patience as the medical professionals continue their work,” the family said.

Johnson crumpled to the floor coming out of a timeout on Dec. 12. He was moved to a stretcher and carried to a waiting ambulance as teammates, coaches, staff, fans and others watched in disbelief.

The broadcast declined to show video of the incident. Witnesses said Johnson was standing near midcourt and suddenly fell forward and landed on his face.

He spent two nights at Tallahassee Memorial before being transferred to Gainesville via helicopter with his mother by his side.

Like many of his Florida teammates, Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 during the summer. Although the cause of Johnson’s collapse has not been revealed, the coronavirus can lead to myocarditis, a viral infection of the heart muscle. At its most severe, myocarditis can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and has been a documented cause of death for young, otherwise healthy athletes.

The SEC mandates strict protocols, including rigorous heart testing, before players can be cleared to return to play following positive COVID-19 tests.

Florida has postponed four basketball games since Johnson’s collapse. The team is next scheduled to next play on Dec. 30 at Vanderbilt in the SEC opener for both schools.