Bulls Head Physician Dr. Brian Cole On How Safe It Really Is For Sports To Return

CHICAGO (CBS) — The NBA’s return to play in a bubble at Disney Complex in Orlando includes giving players the option to wear a smart ring that is said to predict COVID-19 symptoms up to three days in advance.

With the WNBA and MLS also set to come back in Florida next month and hockey working on playing in two hub cities, the pro leagues are going to great lengths to keeping their athletes confined to certain areas.

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CBS 2’s Matt Zahn on Thursday spoke with Chicago Bulls head physician Dr. Brian Cole, who is also Managing Partner at Midwest Orthapaedics at Rush University Medical Center, about how safe it really is for these sports to return.

“If you asked me where I was comfortable, where I was not comfortable, if I was able to live an environment where… those around me –could be tested on a regular basis, and that if there was someone who’s tested positive or became symptomatic and they can undergo sort of contact isolation, I would feel safer there than given the randomness of the grocery store and places where people are not abiding by social distancing, masks, or proper hygiene,” Cole said. “So what I read across the board, I think it’s very, very responsible.”

Of course, even with the best-laid plans, there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to COVID-19, and trying to bring back sports after a long layoff.

“Every week, we find out something different,” Cole said.

He noted that when European soccer resumed, many players suffered injuries within a short period of time.

Moreover, Cole said, there is simply a lot to learn.

“We don’t have a whole database we base this on. We’re basing it on science. I think we can do better with this than predicting what the market’s going to do, quite frankly,” he said.

Cole did not want to speculate on when fans might return to be spectators at sports games, emphasizing that baby steps are involved right now.

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