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Michigan State basketball's Thomas Kithier doesn't test positive for COVID-19

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Thomas Kithier and Michigan State appear to have avoided the COVID-19 bullet.

On Saturday, the junior was forced to leave during the first half of Michigan State’s victory over Nebraska, saying he did not feel well, and was placed in isolation Saturday night.

After a handful of tests, however, Kithier has not tested positive for the coronavirus.

“He’s tested negative the last two days, so that's a positive,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Monday. “Somebody told me that the new model for coaches should be, ‘Think positive, test negative.’ And that would probably be a good way to look at it.”

Izzo said Kithier underwent antigen and PCR testing on Friday, had another antigen test Saturday morning, followed by an antigen test Sunday with two PCR tests — “We weren’t going to take any chances,” Izzo said — before taking his antigen test on Monday.

Michigan State's Thomas Kithier is scheduled to return to practice Monday.

“So, that's three PCR tests and four antigen tests in four days,” Izzo said, explaining Kithier had a virus, just not COVID-19. “And the sad part is the kid sat there since Saturday night thinking he was probably positive. And it’s just been a tough slate for him, but it is what it is and the good news is, as of right now, at 12 o'clock, he is going to practice today.”

Michigan State had four games postponed in January after an outbreak of COVID cases knocked out five players and at least two members of the coaching staff, including Mady Sissoko, Steven Izzo, Joshua Langford, Davis Smith and Gabe Brown as well as associate head coach Dane Fife.

Brown and Fife were back on Saturday night, with Brown managing to play 18 minutes while providing a spark by scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds.

As of Saturday, 13 of Michigan State’s 15 players have tested positive from the time they arrived on campus in late summer.

Izzo said he talked with Kithier on Monday morning and said he was feeling “a lot better.” Kithier was held out of Sunday’s practice.

“Hopefully he'll get a little bit of practice time in,” Izzo said.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau