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Mar 10, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Warren (1) controls the ball against Boston Celtics guard Romeo Langford (45) during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics forward Romeo Langford finally made his season debut in Sunday’s blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets, playing 12 minutes off the bench. It marked the end of a long journey back to the court that included wrist surgery and, most recently, a bout with COVID-19.

Langford reacted to his first game of the year with reporters on Sunday, and also described his health struggles while battling COVID. He painted a similar picture to others who have grappled with COVID’s unique symptoms.

“It hit me pretty hard, felt like I had a really bad flu, and then I end up losing my [sense of] taste and smell,” Langford said. “I really still can’t smell that much.”

Upon returning from the COVID protocol, Langford first had to get his “feel for the game” back after being totally removed from all basketball activity. He said that “everything felt terrible” in his first couple of workouts back, and he still had breathing issues early in the process. But he told Celtics coaches to give him until Sunday and then he’d be ready to play, and he delivered on that promise.

Langford scored three points and shot just 1-for-4 from the field in his first game back. He figures to gradually get more time off the bench as the season progresses. Next step is to remain available for Tuesday night’s home game against the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.