WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals bats against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Nationals Park on July 18, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

MLB is set to return Thursday night when the Washington Nationals take on the New York Yankees, but Juan Soto will be missed. 

The World Series champion Washington Nationals will be without their biggest star on Opening Day against the New York Yankees. Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that Juan Soto has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Opening Day.

The positive test likely means that Soto will miss at least the first two weeks of the season. If this test proves to be a false positive, Soto could be back sooner. He needs to pass two COVID-19 tests in a row, not have a fever for 72 hours, and pass a cardiac exam.

If the test proves to be correct, the most likely outcome, Soto will miss at least two weeks no matter the circumstances. Even an asymptomatic player must quarantine for two weeks. If Soto has symptoms, he could be out longer.

The Nationals may want to send him to do some rehab after he recovers from the illness. If he’s symptomatic, there’s no telling how long he could be out. It could be two weeks, but it could be much longer than that with added rehab.

The Nationals are not currently commenting on the degree to which Soto is sick.

This means the New York Yankees won’t see Juan Soto this weekend in their three-game set against the Nationals. It’s also possible that Soto will miss the New York Mets series on Aug. 4 and 5, though that’s currently unknown.

A contributor here at elitesportsny.com. I'm a former graduate student at Loyola University Chicago here I earned my MA in History. I'm an avid Mets, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers fan. I am also a prodigious prospect nerd and do in-depth statistical analysis.