NBA referee Kirkland tests negative for coronavirus: report

New York (AFP) –


NBA referee Courtney Kirkland has been cleared by doctors to depart Sacramento after coronavirus test results returned negative, ESPN reported Sunday.

Kirkland, who has officiated more than 1,200 games in 20 seasons as a league referee, has been cleared to resume all activity without restrictions, according to the report on the sports network's website, citing unnamed sources.

The news comes four days after Kirkland had been scheduled to officiate the Sacramento Kings' home game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

But the contest was postponed minutes before tipoff because Kirkland had also worked the Utah-Toronto game on Monday in Salt Lake City.

The move was made in the wake of Utah All-Star center Rudy Gobert of France testing positive for COVID-19 just before a scheduled game Wednesday.

Another Utah player, Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive for coronavirus.

Kirkland, 45, was tested on Thursday and isolated himself until receiving the results.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver put the league season on indefinite hiatus after Gobert tested positive, a move that was followed by every major US sports organization over the next two days.