The timeline for Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante’s return to his club remains unknown after he shared his concerns over training amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to ESPN.
Kante participated when Chelsea’s training resumed Tuesday but missed Wednesday and Thursday’s sessions over his worries that it’s not a safe time to return to practice in the U.K. ESPN reports manager Frank Lampard and the club support the French international’s stance.
“Kante himself does not have any length of time in mind until he feels safe enough to go back to training,” a source told ESPN.
The reasoning for Kante’s hesitations are personal. Two years ago, Kante lost his older brother Niamh to a heart attack just before the 2018 World Cup. The Guardian reports Kante has mostly stayed indoors with one of his brothers since the season’s suspension in March. The midfielder had a health scare of his own two years ago when he collapsed in front of his teammates after a training session.
Premier League clubs returned to training this week under strict social distancing guidelines, with an eye on a full return to action next month. Groups of no more than five people can work out together, and all players and staff were tested on Sunday and Monday. After 748 coronavirus tests were administered, the league announced six positive cases were found among its players and staff members. Training protocols are expected to be relaxed gradually up until a full return.