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Clemson football player retiring after COVID-19 diagnosis

Foster noted that his recovery from the coronavirus has been difficult because of his asthma and allergies, which already impacted his breathing during play. 

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Justin Foster
Justin Foster
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Updated: February 25, 2021 - 4:21pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Clemson Tigers defensive end Justin Foster says he's retiring from football to focus on his recovery from COVID-19. 

"With sadness but no regret, I have decided it is in my best interest to call it a career and hang up football," Foster tweeted Wednesday. 

Foster says his recovery from the virus has been difficult because of his asthma and allergies, which already impacted his breathing during play. 

"The combination of these conditions, along with contracting COVID, made for a severe difficulty to perform physically," he said. "While my situation has improved, I am not in a position now, nor do I see that position soon, to step back on the field."

Foster was absent for the entirety of the 2020 season as he was in recovery. He spoke with medical professionals regarding his current health and future prior to deciding on his departure from football, according to Bleacher Report.

"He had a very tough fall," said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. "He's always had challenges with [asthma and allergies] but when he got COVID last summer, that really set him back."

Many individuals experience only short-term coronavirus-related problems. However, some, as was the case with Foster, endure lingering impacts of the virus. 

Foster declined Swinney's offer for him to remain on the team while he recovered and could resume playing when he was healthy enough. 

"I have great pride and gratitude as I reflect on my experiences in this program and excitement and confidence for my future," Foster said.

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