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Freeman prayed 'Please don't take me' during COVID-19 fight

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Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2019, file photo, Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman looks over his shoulder as he enters the batting cage during a baseball workout in St. Louis. Freeman does not know if he has time to be ready for the Braves' opener at the New York Mets. Following a scary journey in his battle with COVID-19, Freeman knows he is grateful to even have a chance. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

ATLANTA – Freddie Freeman doesn't know if he has time to be ready for the Atlanta Braves' opener.

Following a scary journey in his battle with COVID-19, Freeman is grateful to even have a chance.

On Saturday, the four-time All-Star revealed he had a high temperature of 104.5 degrees early in his battle with the disease and prayed for his life.

“I said a little prayer that night,” Freeman said in a video conference call. “I’ve never been that hot before. My body was really, really hot. ... I said ‘Please don’t take me’ because I wasn’t ready.”

Freeman said the fever was down to 101 the following morning and broke two days later. He said Saturday was his ninth consecutive day without symptoms, which also included body aches, chills and a temporary loss of his senses of taste and smell. He said two other members of his household, his wife and aunt, are recovering after positive tests.

“I feel great,” he said. “I only lost one pound. ... I didn’t lose any strength.”

Freeman reported to Truist Park for a workout on Friday only about an hour after receiving his second negative test for the coronavirus, which earned him medical clearance to play.

The Braves plan to give Freeman as many at-bats as possible before the season. He had a run-scoring triple over the head of right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. in Saturday night's intrasquad game and also caught a foul popup over his shoulder.