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Keyontae Johnson diagnosed with heart inflammation, possibly from coronavirus: report

The Florida Gator collapsed on the court Dec. 12 during a game against rival Florida State.
Florida forward Keyontae Johnson, left, defends Georgia's Anthony Edwards during a game in March in Athens, Ga.
Florida forward Keyontae Johnson, left, defends Georgia's Anthony Edwards during a game in March in Athens, Ga. [ JOSHUA L. JONES | AP ]
Published Dec. 24, 2020

Keyontae Johnson, the University of Florida basketball player who collapsed on the court in mid-December, has reportedly been diagnosed with acute myocarditis, a heart inflammation, that may be linked to COVID-19.

Johnson, 21, underwent an MRI at UF Health in Gainesville after being transferred there from Tallahassee Memorial, at which point a doctor recognized the myocarditis, the Gainesville Sun reported Tuesday.

The cause of the inflammation is unclear, but has been reported as a side effect of coronavirus, which Johnson contracted over the summer, along with several Gator teammates.

The team physician, Dr. Jay Clugston, previously told TV20 that all UF athletes receive routine cardiac workups, which can then be used for comparison to later tests.

Johnson collapsed on Dec. 12, after a timeout in the first half of a game against rival Florida State and was immediately hospitalized in critical condition.

His parents announced Tuesday that he was being released from the hospital and would be home in time for Christmas.

“We continue to be amazed at the pace of his recovery,” Nika and Marrecus Johnson said in a statement. “Along with so many well wishes and prayers, we’ve understandably gotten questions about the cause and extent of Keyontae’s illness. As much as everyone involved wants firm answers, the process to draw definitive conclusions continues, and we ask for patience as the medical professionals continue their work.”

Johnson is expected to be out for at least three months and will likely miss the rest of the basketball season, according to the Sun.