Alabama coach Nick Saban ‘100 percent’ for LSU after COVID-19 diagnosis

Alabama coach Nick Saban, who missed the Iron Bowl with a COVID-19 diagnosis, is cleared for a return against LSU in Baton Rouge, he confirmed on his Thursday radio show.

Saban, who produced a positive test for the coronavirus on Nov. 24, said he cleared his relatively minor symptoms — most notably a runny nose — after undergoing an IV treatment.

“I’ll be there,” Saban said. “I’m good. I think my time is up. I’m ready to get back in the swing of things.

“Whatever was in this plasma deal, it knocked it out in one day,” Saban told reporters (via ESPN). “From Thursday on, I’ve felt great and 100 percent. I would certainly recommend that treatment for anybody that could get it.”

Saban, 69, missed only the second game of his career on Saturday as he was forced to watch the Iron Bowl from isolation inside his Tuscaloosa home. Before that, the only game Saban missed was in 1973, when the first-year Kent State graduate missed a game to attend his father’s funeral.

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, formerly head coach of Washington and USC, led the top-ranked Tide in a 42-13 victory over No. 22 Auburn.

“I think our coaching staff did a marvelous job today,” Saban said Saturday. “They played the situations. We had a good plan. They stayed with the plan. They executed the plan. Sark did a nice job of managing things. And I sat here and felt a little helpless, but I could see things and yell at things and listen to Miss Terry cheer downstairs. It’s a little different, but it still feels good to win.”

No. 1 Alabama (8-0 SEC) will take on LSU (3-4 SEC) in Baton Rouge. The Tide are considered a 29-point favorite over the 2019 national champions — the largest spread in this rivalry since Saban took over at Alabama in 2007.

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