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Nationals star Juan Soto tests negative for COVID-19, still not with the team

Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Mere hours before their Opening Day game against the New York Yankees, young Washington Nationals star Juan Soto shockingly tested positive for COVID-19.

It was certainly not a great way for the defending World Series champs to open a truncated 60-game season.

We now have some pretty good news on this front.

Nationals star Juan Soto tests negative for COVID-19

As Jon Heyman of MLB Network notes, Soto still needs to test negative on two MLB-mandated tests in order to rejoin the Nationals.

This is still good news for a Nationals squad in need of a pick me up following Thursday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees.

Juan Soto is a legit MVP candidate

Last season saw the 21-year-old Soto hit .282 with 34 homers, 110 RBI and an absurd .949 OPS en route to finishing in the top 10 of the NL MVP voting.

Soto is seen as one of the rising stars around the baseball world. Getting him back is going to be pivotal for the Nats as they look to defend their title. Missing a star of this ilk for an extended period of time during a 60-game season would obviously be seen as less-than-ideal.