The good news came in the middle of the week. Tests carried out on Monday revealed that Pascal Donnadieu, 56, was no longer positive for Covid-19. The end of a three-week ordeal for the Nanterre coach who is considered to be at risk because of a weakness in a lung. If he did not make the trip to Trento Wednesday in the Eurocup (victory 102-104 a.2p), successfully leaving the reins to the duo Philippe Da Silva and Michaël Bur, Pascal Donnadieu will be back on the court this Sunday ( 6:50 p.m.), in Levallois, for the derby at the neighboring Metropolitans. Before joining the French team on Monday for two qualifying matches for Euro 2022.
How do you feel ?
PASCAL DONNADIEU. I knew that with my pulmonary fragility, there was a great risk that it would not be easy if I caught this virus, I confirm, it was not easy. But I was well followed by my doctors. There are more unhappy people than me. I’m not going to feel sorry for myself. I went to take exams in a hospital and ran into people who were much more affected than me. This should not be taken lightly. It’s a hell of a bitch. We have to be extremely vigilant.
For you, that was not enough to avoid falling ill?
I have always respected the health protocol but we know that we are more exposed in sport. In Nanterre, the majority of players and almost all of the staff were affected. We do not know where we were infected but the first cases happened when we returned from Patras in Greece (in the Eurocup). In sport, no matter how strictly you respect gestures, when you play it’s complicated. If a player is hit, it necessarily spreads.
Could you have stepped back when the first cases came to light?
I knew there was a risk but then you don’t live anymore. And that’s my job. I was quickly well surrounded and I had anticipated by taking vitamins, by having a more strict lifestyle. The goal was to monitor my lungs. It was heavy and tiring, I caught a big pneumonia, but I was not hospitalized. It was not tragic.
What symptoms did you have?
I had quite a few and quite a bit. For 15 days I couldn’t do anything, I had a lot of fever for about 10 days. I, who am rather insomniac, could have slept 24 hours a day for several days. We’re really knocked out. When we see that even top athletes take it head-on, you can imagine that for others it is even more violent. It’s been better for a few days, I can even put my nose outside to walk a bit.
Were you able to keep up to date with your team’s results?
It was complicated at first but I tried to keep in touch. We exchanged regularly with the staff to share our ideas. In these cases, you have to trust and delegate. I was able to watch the 3 games that I missed. I even started looking to replace Buycks (Editor’s note: the leader and the club separated by mutual agreement in early November). It’s normal when you have it in your skin … Even at 40 fever.
Do you feel recovered enough to be present at the derby?
As long as my condition improves and my test is negative, it’s normal to be present. But it is in consultation with the doctors, I am not crazy. I’m coming back on tiptoe, Philippe (Da Silva) drove the team for two weeks (Editor’s note: Franck Le Goff, the other assistant, is also positive). We are frustrated that there is no audience. This match is normally a nice party, with a big atmosphere. But we have to adapt.
What do you think of the in camera?
It is a lesser evil, but we do not find it completely. As with theaters or concerts, we prefer to play in front of an audience, even a hostile because it is passion. It is necessarily a lack. It is also felt in the quality of the game. The atmosphere allows you to transcend. But we must accept for the good of all.
Does this also impact the economy of clubs?
Pro sport is suffering like many sectors. It reassured me to see that he was going to be helped like the cultural events. There was this awareness of the public authorities. In Nanterre, we had anticipated by lowering the payroll and the budget but times are hard for all clubs. Playing behind closed doors or stopping the championship is not without consequences. It is a very complicated situation. Maybe the idea would be for everyone to only play a few games. What also scares me is that the virus is going to dictate the ranking in some way. There is a concern for fairness for the teams in the second half of the table who play without certain players who test positive.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr