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What will it take to bring professional sports back?

Sports medicine expert Dr. Rand McClain explains why more testing will need to be available before sports return to the U.S.

Posted: May 6, 2020 1:54 AM

NewsWatch 12 Sports' Josh Shelton spoke with Dr. Rand McClain, the Chief Medical Officer of LCR Health and a leader in sports medicine, about what needs to be done in order for professional sports to resume play.

Full Interview:

Josh: Now, Dr. McClain, if you wouldn't mind giving us just a brief summary of the work you do within sports medicine.

Dr. McClain: Okay. I have a great job. I tell people all the time, I don't really see sick people. I see people that are already in pretty good shape who want to get even better.
We focus on optimizing health, if you will, through regenerative and sports medicine.

Josh: All right. Now when it comes to restarting professional sports like the NBA in the US during this pandemic, what's it going to take to get to that point here?

Dr. McClain: I think the most important thing people have to realize is You're going to have to test everybody, and certainly that means everybody in the sport, the players, in other words, but the admin personnel, and then to what degree you want to go beyond that with, for example, the staff at the hotel where players are staying. That's going to be essential, particularly in the beginning.

Josh: Now, how do you continue to keep players, team and stadium personnel safe while still playing these games?

Dr. McClain: Well, that's where it gets tricky and that's where it has to be well thought out and beyond that, obviously there has to be compliance with the rules, whether it's in the bubble they're proposing in major league baseball or the locales proposed for NHL, et cetera. , you're not going to eliminate all the risks, but you should be able to mitigate it considerably as we have been able to do across the United States.

Josh: And what are some ways to mitigate that risk of spreading within teams while they're playing games?

Dr. McClain: Well, of course, it depends upon the game, right? I mean, tennis and golf, it's easier, to address than say, you know, the true context works like NFL, NHL, and the NBA. , you're not going to be able to prevent that contact. So the idea is. Keep players, safe from one another by testing frequently and isolating those that become infected. If the measures for the so-called lockdown or the bubble, whatever you want to call it, are maintained. If the players and everyone else is compliant at some point, we've eliminated the virus that came with the initial, aggregation of the troops, so to speak. And it shouldn't be a problem.

Josh: Now, how soon before fans would be able to play at these games? Cause I'm assing right now we're talking about sports without fans.

Dr. McClain: Yeah. As I believe the president states, we're, we're working on, TV sports only right now. The idea of bringing fans in, you know, it's possible to happen this year, maybe with some of the later sports like the NFL, but until we get more treatments or certainly a cure would be great. I don't think that people are going to accept the amount of risks that are involved in bringing fans to the stadium, even if we separate them, in the early going, maybe next year, presumably we will have a vaccine and that could be addressed. But at this point, I think it's going to be for TV only.

Josh: Now is this going to change how we view live professional sports forever? And if so, what's that new normal going to look like?

Dr. McClain: I don't think there's any indications that this virus is going to be the one that we can't deal with. Like so many of the others before us. We will find a way to, certainly treat, and maybe prevent. It may be something that, like the flu, it's going to mutate every year and we'll come up with, a vaccine that will. Bring down some of the risks or the symptoms, but I don't think this is going to change the face because of the coronavirus itself anyway. This SARS-Cov-2. Going forward, we just have to deal with what we have currently, which is not a whole lot of information and by next year be the belief is any way in the medical community will have something that will allow us to get back to what we used to call normal.

Josh: Thank you, Dr. McClain, for taking the time to speak with us today. We appreciate you.

Dr. McClain: My pleasure. Anytime.

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