By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — It sounds like the Red Sox will have their closer for Opening Day after all. Boston reliever Matt Barnes has been cleared to return to camp following a new development with his positive COVID-19 test.

Barnes’ test, which took place last Thursday, has been ruled a “non-infectious positive,” according to Joel Sherman. That likely indicates that Barnes tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

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Barnes, and the eight players that were considered close contacts with Barnes and had to enter isolation, have all been cleared to return to the team.

“Hopefully this is the last time we have to go through this,” manager Alex Cora said Monday. “But, Spring Training is to prepare you for whatever happens during the season. We’re prepared, but hopefully we don’t have to deal with it anymore.”

Heading into his eighth season, Barnes figures to be Boston’s closer. He saved nine games in 13 opportunities last season to go with four holds. For his career, Barnes has 15 saves in 33 save opportunities.

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The Red Sox open the 2021 season Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles. Staff