Royals pitcher Brad Keller returns to team after testing positive COVID-19

Royals

Starter Brad Keller #56 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the first inning of game one of a double header against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 22, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)

Kansas City Royals pitcher Brad Keller, who had been out the last two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, returned to the club Friday following a pair of negative tests.

He immediately hit the field for a 30-pitch bullpen session and had no issues.

Keller was the Royals’ starter opening day last year. Danny Duffy will take the ball in next Friday night’s opener in Cleveland.

“I’m feeling great now,” Keller said. “This morning I was cleared about 8:30, so that was probably one of the best phone calls I’ve had. I felt like I got called up to the big leagues or something. It was nuts.”

Earlier in the day, Royals prospects Nick Dini and Daniel Tillo tested positive for the virus. They are now quarantined.

The team announced first baseman Ryan O’Hearn had tested positive for COVID-19 the same day they announced Keller’s test results. O’Hearn has not been cleared to play yet, according to the Royals.

Catchers Salvador Perez and Cam Gallagher, who also contracted the virus, have both returned to summer camp.

In just one week, the team will kick off its shortened season on July 24 in Cleveland. The Royals will have their home opener, in a stadium without fans, on July 31 against the Chicago White Sox. 

In all, they’ll play 60 games in just 66 days, including 30 games at home and 30 away. 

See the Royals full schedule here

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