N’Golo Kante was allowed to miss Chelsea’s phase-one training session on Wednesday due to his concerns around safety as the Premier League begins the early steps of its restart plan.
The World Cup-winning midfielder tested negative for coronavirus on Tuesday and conducted his first socially distanced session under Frank Lampard at Cobham Training Centre.
Lampard gave permission for Kante not to train on Wednesday and Chelsea as a whole have been supportive of the decision made by one of their star players.
Chelsea will allow the 29-year-old to train at home and will continue their efforts to make their training ground safe for the rest of their squad.
Kante has had an injury-hit season and had just returned after being out for a spell before football shut down in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There is plenty still unknown about risk factors associated with the highly contagious and deadly virus, but data from the Office of National Statistics suggest black men and women are almost twice as likely to die from Covid-19. This is even when factors such as health, disability, household composition and area deprivation are taken into account.
Kante also collapsed in the dressing room at Cobham in March 2018 in front of his teammates, which led to him missing a match against Manchester City. Subsequent cardiology tests, however, cleared him of concerns about his heart.
The former Leicester City star lost his older brother, Niama, to a heart attack before the World Cup in 2018 and the midfielder also lost his father when he was 11 years old.
Callum Hudson-Odoi also missed training on Wednesday due to illness. His absence is not related to coronavirus nor his arrest at the weekend amid accusations of rape.
Tammy Abraham has expressed his concerns around returning to training during the pandemic due to his father Anthony having asthma. Still, he reaffirmed after that his priority is to complete the season.
‘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,’ the forward said.
Chelsea have seen several other previously injured players come back after being out before the shutdown, including the likes of Abraham, Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic.
Kante’s decision follows similar problems faced by other Premier League clubs as Watford captain Troy Deeney said he would not return to training due to his five-month-old son’s breathing difficulties.
Furthermore, Newcastle full back Danny Rose has said that footballers are being treated as ‘guinea pigs’ during attempts to kick-start the league.
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