Keyontae Johnson, Florida’s star forward who collapsed on the court last week in Tallahassee, has been diagnosed with acute myocarditis, as first reported by the Gainesville Sun’s Zach Abolverdi Tuesday.
The infection is described as an inflammation of muscle within the heart and said to typically be caused by viral infection, which raises the obvious question of whether or not this injury ties back to an earlier bout of COVID-19.
Johnson was released from the hospital Tuesday and will spent Christmas at home with his family. The SEC preseason player of the year is likely to miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
It remains to be seen whether Johnson’s condition is in any way related to being infected with COVID-19. All UF athletes infected must complete a cardiac evaluation in accordance with SEC protocol before being cleared to play, including an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram and a blood test.
While the link may not be confirmed yet, it may prompt the NCAA and other leagues to include further testing. Johnson isn’t the first Division I athlete to be diagnosed with myocarditis since the rise of the pandemic, as Miami defensive back Al Blades, Jr. was forced to cut his season short early after concerning bloodwork revealed the heart condition.