ARLINGTON, Texas — All-Star slugger Joey Gallo joined the Texas Rangers for the first time at summer camp Friday after missing the first week of workouts because he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Gallo never felt any symptoms but had two positive tests that sandwiched a negative result during intake testing. He was cleared to return after multiple negative tests this week.
“Obviously my fingers were crossed every day that one of those tests was going to come back negative,” manager Chris Woodward said. “The fact that he had no symptoms, he felt fine the whole time.”
Gallo took batting practice and spent some time in right field during the early portion of the workout, but he wasn’t part of the afternoon intrasquad scrimmage.
The 26-year-old Gallo initially took a saliva test during intake testing June 27, and he received a positive result two days later. Gallo, who then allowed the Rangers to share the information, took a nasal swab test on June 30 that came back negative, but he then had another saliva test that came back positive last Sunday.
Gallo’s return came two weeks before the scheduled season opener July 24 against Colorado. He had been working out at the new stadium for several weeks before the positive tests that kept him away from the team.
“I think he’ll be ready for the season. I’m not worried about that. Obviously, as long as he doesn’t get hurt, he should be ready,” Woodward said. “He wants to be back in there. He’s hungry to get back in there.”
After consecutive 40-homer seasons while hitting under .210, Gallo had 22 homers and a .253 average in 70 games last season, when he was an All-Star before right wrist surgery. He also homered in the All-Star game.