N’Golo Kante has been granted compassionate leave by Chelsea as the French superstar has fears about returning to training.
Per a report from ESPN, no timeframe has been given for Kante to return to training amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Kante, 29, requested to miss small-group training at Chelsea’s Cobham training base and the club are said to be understanding of his situation and have allowed him to train on his own at home.
It is also believed Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi did not take part in sessions at their training base on Wednesday as he felt unwell, but he has tested negative for COVID-19 following his initial previous positive test back in March. Hudson-Odoi has been prescribed medication and earlier this week various reports stated he was arrested on suspicion of rape.
As for Kante, he did not train on Wednesday and Thursday after returning to the small group sessions on Tuesday. The World Cup winner tested negative for COVID-19 but is thought to feel uneasy about returning to playing in June and is particularly concerned about the health of his family.
Kante’s brother died in the summer of 2018 from a heart attack and the Chelsea star is unwilling to put himself or his family members at risk.
Troy Deeney hasn’t returned to training at Watford this week over concerns about the health of his family too, while several clubs, managers and players continue to be hesitant as clubs take tentative steps back towards resuming the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Clubs unanimously agreed to a return to small-group training from Tuesday, as players and club staff were tested on Sunday and Monday for COVID-19. The Premier League have released a statement saying that 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday and six positive tests have been confirmed across three clubs.
Those clubs where positive tests have been confirmed will still be able to move forward with small-group training as individuals were tested over the past few days before groups returned to training bases. Those who have tested positive will self-isolate for seven days and their names will not be released.
Premier League CEO Richard Masters has said the possible restart date for games on June 12 is a flexible one and that plans for games to return can only happen as and when the league, clubs, players, the UK government and medical staff agree on how they can restart contact training in larger groups.
Next week is a key week for the Premier League ‘Project Restart’ plan as clubs are due to meet on Tuesday (May 26) to discuss a return to full contact training, then again on Thursday (May 28) to vote on whether or not to restart the season.