If the Premier League is able to resume and complete the 2019-20 season, a number of clubs will benefit from time off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with regards to players currently recovering from long-term injuries.
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Players previously expected to miss the rest, or the majority, of the season will suddenly have a new lease on the current campaign with nine or 10 games left to play. Simply put, a few clubs in relegation battles and
top-four top-five chases could see their fortunes completely changed. Clubs not discussed either had relatively clean bills of health, or were already expected to return key players in short order.
No club will receive a bigger boost if/when the PL resumes. Harry Kane and Son Heung-min went down with potentially season-ending injuries four weeks apart at the start of 2020. With both of his goal-scoring stars unavailable, Jose Mourinho’s side took just one point from three games before the season was suspended. Both Kane and Son had an outside shot at returning for the final game or two of the season, according to Mourinho, which would have them returning in early May. Now, an early May return could see them play all nine games with Tottenham currently four points back of fifth-place Manchester United. The same goes for January signing Steven Bergwijn, who is recovering from a “significant” ankle sprain and was previously in danger of missing the rest of the season. Moussa Sissoko will also return if/when play resumes; he was previously slated to miss an additional two or three weeks while recovering from a knee injury.
Lucas Torreira suffered a fractured ankle on March 2 and was subsequently expected to miss the remainder of the season, but the Gunners’ most influential and consistent midfield performer will have every chance to return for a handful of games if/when the season resumes. Sead Kolasinac was previously meant to return to training in early April after a “significant” shoulder injury in late February; he would have then been available for the final four or five games, but will now almost certainly be available at season’s restart. Cedric Soares, who arrived from Southampton with a pre-existing knee injury in January, will also see additional availability this season. Arsenal currently sit five points back of fifth place, with a game in hand.
With Liverpool having essentially wrapped the title up, Man City stand to benefit more in their quest to win the Champions League where they lead Real Madrid 2-1 ahead of the second leg at the Etihad Stadium. Aymeric Laporte wasn’t previously expected back until after the March international break, which was scheduled to occur two weeks after the second leg. Leroy Sane is also very close to making his return and season debut after tearing his ACL in the Community Shield.
Marcus Rashford (back) – late April; Paul Pogba (ankle) – early April;
Martin Dubravka (knee) – potentially out remainder of season; Paul Dummett (hamstring) – potentially out remainder of season; Ciaran Clark (ankle) – potentially out remainder of season; Andy Carroll (groin) – early May; Jetro Willems (knee) – previously out remainder of season
Wesley (knee) – previously out remainder of season; Tom Heaton (knee) – previously out remainder of season; John McGinn (ankle) – on the verge of returning after four months out.