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Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque has COVID-19, pneumonia in both his lungs


SportsPulse: Sports plays a vital role in our day-to-day lives as a means to escape. Mental health expert Eric Kussin says it's OK to feel depressed over the loss of sports in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and provides steps you can take to address these emotions. USA TODAY


Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque has another fight on his hands.

Laraque, releasing a series of videos this weekend on his Facebook page from a Montreal-area hospital, says he has contracted .

"I have pneumonia in both my lungs," he said Saturday. "They’re affected by the COVID because I have asthma. I need to have oxygen blowing through my nose."

Laraque, 43, who played 12 NHL seasons and , said he had been running 10 kilometers a day to prepare for a marathon before he came down with symptoms.

"Now I can’t even get up without losing my breath," he said. "It’s insane."

Laraque, speaking in both French and English, had a couple coughing fits while talking.

He said the fevers at night had been bad.

"I wake up in sweat all the time," he said.

Sunday, he released another video, saying he was fever-free the night before for the first time.

Laraque said he originally went to the hospital on April 26 for a test because he was having symptoms. He was given a chest X-ray and was sent home with a cortisone prescription, he said.

He was called back the next day to say the X-ray showed pneumonia and the day after, he was able to get a test.


"If in Quebec, we’re limited with the amount of testing that we have, why are we reopening schools to kids?" he said. "Because obviously, there’s not going to be enough tests to test all the kids in school. So if you can’t test all the kids in school, it’s not to be a safe environment for the parents … and to the teachers, who are already way underpaid.”

He added: “I know we have to start back the economy again, I know it’s going to be important, but for two months of school, are the parents really going to risk their life to get sick when their kids come back home every day? Some parents are going to end up in a room like me in the hospital.”

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Ed Schilling Sr., former Butler player and Marian coach. He died April 30 at 75. Courtesy of Butler AthleticsGeorges Laraque, left, former NHL player Graham Hughes, APLyman Good, UFC Jason da Silva, USA TODAY SportsStefanie Dolson, Chicago Sky center Rob Schumacher/The RepublicVon Miller, Denver Broncos linebacker Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY SportsBrian Allen, Los Angeles Rams center Jeremy Brevard, USA TODAY SportsTony Boselli, former NFL player STEPHEN MORTON, Associated PressJim Edmonds, former Major League Baseball player Jeff Roberson, APPatrick McEnroe, former professional tennis player John Minchillo, APTom Dempsey, former NFL kicker (He died on April 4 at 73.) Associated PressPape Diouf, former president of l'Olympique de Marseille soccer team ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT, AFP via Getty ImagesJames Dolan, New York Knicks and Rangers owner Brad Penner, USA TODAY SportsSean Payton, New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook, USA TODAY SportsMarcus Smart, Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY SportsRudy Gobert, Utah Jazz Russell Isabella, Russell Isabella-USA TODAY SportsKevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet, USA TODAY SportsChristian Wood, Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller, Tim Fuller-USA TODAY SportsDonovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz David Richard, USA TODAY SportsDoris Burke, ESPN NBA analyst Troy Taormina, USA TODAY SportsSydney Wiese, Los Angeles Sparks Molly J. Smith, Statesman JournalJason Collins, former NBA player Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY SportsWebster Garrison, Oakland Athletics minor league coach/manager Barbara Jean Germano, USA TODAY SportsKozo Tashima, Japan FA president and vice chairman of Japan‘s Olympic Committee TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP via Getty ImagesEnrique Bonilla, Liga MX president Joe Reedy, APMikel Arteta, Arsenal Oli Scarff, AFP via Getty ImagesEliaquim Mangala (white shirt), Valencia Luca Bruno, APChris Kielsmeier, Cleveland State women's basketball coach Frank Jansky, Icon Sportswire via Getty ImagesOmar Colley, UC Sampdoria (bottom) Marco Bertorello, AFP via Getty ImagesAlbin Ekdal, UC Sampdoria Clive Brunskill, Getty ImagesManolo Gabbiadini, UC Sampdoria Tano Pecoraro, APGerman Pezzella, Fiorentina Filippo Montefotre, AFP via Getty ImagesPatrick Cutrone, Fiorentina Jennifer Lorenzini, APCallum Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea FC Glyn Kirk, AFP via Getty ImagesHyun-Jun Suk, Troyes Pascal Guyot, AFP via Getty ImagesDaniele Rugani, Juventus Pavel Golovkin, APTrey Thompkins, Real Madrid (photo from 2011) Dale Zanine, USA TODAY SportsMorten Thorsby, UC Sampdoria Tano Pecoraro, APDusan Vlahovic, Fiorentina Tano Pecoraro, APPaulo Dybala, Juventus Laurent Cipriani, APPaolo Maldini, former player and current AC Milan technical director Spada, APDaniel Maldini, AC Milan forward MIGUEL MEDINA, AFP via Getty ImagesLorenzo Sanz, former Real Madrid president. He died on March 21. DENIS DOYLE, APThiago Seyboth Wild, Brazilian tennis player BRENTON EDWARDS, AFP via Getty ImagesJavier Castellano, jockey Richard Mackson, USA TODAY Sports


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