NBA teams are expected to get the go-ahead to reopen practice facilities for limited use as early as Friday, less than two months after the coronavirus outbreak forced the suspension of the season.
With head and assistant coaches barred and scrimmages forbidden, the workouts are unlikely to resemble business as usual for the NBA but would nonetheless be a step towards normalcy for a league whose season was upended in dramatic fashion in March.
Players will be required to wear face masks inside team facilities, “except during the period when they are engaged in physical activity”, according to a league memo.
Teams must also thoroughly disinfect any equipment used, from basketballs to weight-room equipment.
Modifications to stay-at-home orders could play a factor in which teams can resume workouts, with some US states reopening and others maintaining strict social distancing procedures.
USA Today has reported that three teams – the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers – are expected to open their facilities straight away. Other media reports indicate the Houston Rockets are among those considering opening on Friday, with Texas’s stay-at-home orders having expired.
With much of the professional sports calendar on hold, many leagues across North America are considering whether and how their seasons could resume.
Major League Soccer returned to training on Wednesday with strict rules in place, while Nascar plans to resume competition on 17 May without fans.
The NBA was among the first to see its season impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, with games called off at the last minute after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus in March.