New York Liberty’s Asia Durr Is Back! Long-Hauler’s Bout WIth COVID-19 Is Over | Cleared To Play Ball Again

Image Credit: Twitter @wnbahana Screen Shot

The ravages from the coronavirus pandemic have been many, especially in sports. However, there is some light at the end of a long and winding tunnel for WNBA player Asia Durr.

As a COVID-19 survivor, Durr still experienced long-term effects of the virus and hasn’t been able to play for two full seasons.

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However, Durr recently took to social media to announce that she has finally cleared WNBA protocols and can return to basketball.

“So, as y’all know, I was sick last year, and I have long-haulers. But today I went through (an) extensive amount of testing, cardiac testing; and when you play in the WNBA, you have to go through certain testing after testing positive for COVID.

“You have to go through cardiac testing; you have to go through everything to make sure your heart has no damage from having COVID, right. So I went through all of that testing, and, guys, guess what? I have been cleared to play basketball again! Yeah, let’s go!”

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Been A COVID Minute

The revelation is welcome for fans who haven’t seen the No. 2 pick from the 2019 WNBA Draft. Durr was medically excused from the 2020 season. The Louisville guard only played her rookie season before being sidelined with the virus.

During her rookie season and the following 2020 season, Liberty did not make the playoffs. During the 2021 season, they lost in the first round to the Phoenix Mercury. Durr could have been instrumental in that series, as she is the second-leading scorer in Louisville history.

Durr was featured on HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” where she detailed her diagnosis and struggled with the virus.

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The Struggle Was Real

“There’s days where I feel great, like I could go out and go to the store or I could clean up,” said Durr on “Real Sports.” “And then there’s days where I’m like, ‘I just have to stay in the bed,’ and you just feel like you got hit by a bus.”

Durr detailed her long suffering from vertigo, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. It was the first in-depth look at a long-hauler’s bout with COVID, especially from the vantage point of a professional athlete.

“I couldn’t breathe,” Durr said to “Real Sports.” “I was spitting up blood. [I had] lung pain that was just so severe. It felt like somebody took a long knife and was stabbing you in your lungs each second. I woke up two o’clock in the morning vomiting, going back and forth to the bathroom.”

No Peace

For Durr, the most challenging part of being sick was her inability to play, which was her go-to activity for solace.

“That’s what’s really hard for me,” Durr said. “Because in life whenever something was hard, I would go play. I can’t even do that now.”

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Durr is primed to return to the Liberty during the offseason, undoubtedly giving her time to train again and prepare for a 2022 Liberty run. With a harrowing experience during the coronavirus pandemic, Durr has come out on the other side from a virus that has claimed many lives and permanently derailed professional careers.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.