Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was allowed to miss training on Wednesday after expressing concerns over the safety of a return to action amid the coronavirus pandemic, the PA news agency understands.
Kante trained on Tuesday as Chelsea and a number of other English Premier League clubs resumed non-contact sessions in the first major step towards a resumption of games.
However, he missed Wednesday’s session with the full backing of the club and manager Frank Lampard.
It is unclear when the France international will train again.
Kante’s decision came after six people tested positive for Covid-19 following the first round of Premier League testing this week, including Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan and Watford defender Adrian Mariappa.
Mariappa was among three Hornets staff to test positive and the 33-year-old had no idea how he caught the virus.
Mariappa said news that he had tested positive for coronavirus came as a “big surprise” as he has felt no ill effects.
The 33-year-old was one of three positive tests at Watford with the other two among staff members.
The Hornets accounted for half the six Covid-19 cases detected from 748 tests of Premier League players and staff ahead of a return to training in small groups this week.
“It was a big surprise because I haven’t really left the house, apart from some exercise and the odd walk with the kids. I’ve mainly just been homeschooling and keeping fit.”
Mariappa had been following a fitness programme prepared by the club without any trouble caused by the virus to his breathing.
Burnley confirmed their assistant manager Ian Woan is also asymptomatic having tested positive for the virus.
Watford captain Troy Deeney has said he will not return to training this week for fear that he could contract Covid-19 and pass it onto his five-month-old son.
Other Watford players are reportedly set to follow Deeney’s example, but Mariappa did not rule out returning to training once he was gone through a period of seven days self-isolation. — AFP.