A subsequent test of Alabama coach Nick Saban on Thursday showed that he is negative for COVID-19, the university announced Friday afternoon.
The news comes 48 hours after Saban’s initial positive test and opens up the possibility that Saban could return to coach Saturday night’s home game against No. 3 Georgia.
The statement from Alabama head athletic trainer Jeff Allen said Saban was evaluated by team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson on Friday and remains asymptomatic and without fever.
“We are continuing to follow the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives,” Allen said in the statement. “A PCR test was repeated Thursday by the SEC appointed lab and was negative.”
Should Saban test negative two more times, each 24 hours apart, he would be considered a false positive per SEC protocols and would be allowed to return to full activity.
Saban, 68, will continue to be tested daily, according to the statement, meaning that he could conceivably test negative Friday and Saturday — setting up the possibility that he could coach Saturday night’s game in Tuscaloosa.
In the meantime, Saban will remain in isolation.
According to the statement, the initial positive test came from an outside lab that the school uses to supplement the SEC’s mandated testing.