After a few months of a hiatus for the sports world due to Covid-19, the first group of Kentucky players in the program’s plan towards a gradual return to voluntary workouts came back Monday.
Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal spoke to the media this afternoon via zoom describing what the first days of workouts have been like as well as the differences they have had to accommodate with.
Paschal after the first question acknowledged that the situation was quite different, and described how the players have to be medically cleared before working out.
“When you get there, you have to go through the whole process to make sure you’re cleared to workout, they take your temperature. When you first wake up, you have to go and see if you have any symptoms, it’s a couple different things you have to do now once you’re in the workout,” Paschal said.
Like the rest of us in public, Paschal is having to wear a mask along with his teammates as they go through workouts, which he says the feel of the mask is annoying to him and his teammates.
“Yeah, we have to wear it the whole time, and it’s very annoying, Paschal said. “Of course, I don’t think it’s possible to go through a workout without taking it off at least once, pulling it away from your face for a couple seconds while you’re alone.”
The defensive end himself has had significant health issues in the past, as he dealt with melanoma in 2018, but his oncologist told him as far as research goes that necessary precautions relating to his previous health issues were not needed. Knowing that, he feels in the same boat as the rest of the players.
“I feel like we’re all on the same level as an average human right now,” Paschal said.
Despite the many precautions the players who have returned so far have had to take, Paschal said the energy when they are together is contagious.
“Right now, everybody’s just appreciating being back and just appreciating going to workouts and pulling up to the facility, getting out,” Paschal said. “We’re appreciating warm-ups, being dead from workouts and things of that sort.”
The next wave of players returning will be June 15, but until then it will continue to be the 40 or so players that reported to campus on June 8 that are working out together.