Chelsea granted N’Golo Kante permission to skip the second day of their phase one return to training due to the midfielder’s fears over the Premier League season restarting amid the coronavirus crisis.
Kante, 29, was among those pictured at Chelsea’s Cobham training complex during Tuesday’s session and was joined by Callum Hudson-Odoi, 19, despite the young forward’s arrest over the weekend.
The Premier League have confirmed that six cases of COVID-19 were found in the first round of testing of 748 players and staff, but Kante’s test was not one of those that came back positive.
However, The Telegraph claim that Kante has major concerns about training during the pandemic and was therefore given permission to miss Wednesday’s session by Frank Lampard and Chelsea officials.
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Kante passed out in front of team-mates at Chelsea’s training ground back in March 2018 and the club were careful not to rush the Frenchman back following his collapse. He was absent for the Blues’ next match away to Manchester City at the Etihad.
Several BAME players have voiced their concerns over plans to restart the season in recent days after it emerged that black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die from coronavirus as white people in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics.
It’s not known when Kante will return to training with the rest of Lampard’s first-team squad but the club are giving him all the time and support he needs.
The report claims Hudson-Odoi also missed Wednesday’s session through illness and the England international has been put on medication.
Earlier this week, Tottenham defender Danny Rose, currently on loan at Newcastle United, claimed Premier League stars were being treated like ‘lab rats’ as they prepare to play through the pandemic.
‘I’m dying to get back to football but just with the things that are happening right now, people are going through this coronavirus pandemic a lot worse than me, I don’t want to be complaining about everything,’ Rose told The Lockdown Tactics podcast.
‘Just off the fact that people are suggesting we should go back to football, like we’re guinea pigs or lab rats.
‘We’re going to experiment this phase and see if it works or not. ‘I can just imagine people at home saying, “Well they earn that amount of money so they should be going back”.
‘For stuff like that I think is it worth the hassle? I could be potentially risking my health for people’s entertainment and that’s not something I want to be involved in if I’m honest.’
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has also made no secret of his concerns about Project Restart.
He said: My dad has asthma, so if I was to return to the Premier League and, God forbid, I do catch this disease and bring it home it’s the worst thing possible.
‘The last thing I need is to catch the virus myself or be in contact with anyone with the virus.’
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