Tommy John has been battling COVID-19 for at least three weeks, but the former pitching great disputes reports that he is a coronavirus denier.
“I'm not a denier. I've had it, baby,” John said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The 77-year-old John remains hospitalized near his home in Indio, California. He said he started to feel ill following a trip to Nashville before he was hospitalized on Dec. 13.
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John said he has had a bout of pneumonia and did receive oxygen, but is not presently on oxygen. He said the biggest side effect at the moment is he has no strength in his legs. As far as some of the other symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as loss of taste or smell, John said he didn't experience those.
“I feel good. The only thing right now is trying to arrange for someone to do physical therapy from my home,” he said.
John pitched for six teams over a 26-year career from 1963-89. He is widely known for undergoing the groundbreaking ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery on his left elbow in 1974 that bears his name. He went on to win 20 games three times, once with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977 and twice with the New York Yankees (1979-80).
While John is not denying coronavirus, his son has been more outspoken. Tommy John III, a chiropractor who lives in San Diego, has taken to social media saying “this was never a pandemic.”