N’Golo Kante is prepared to miss the rest of the Premier League season, if it resumes, amid fears over returning to Chelsea training due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The France international has been given permission to train at home and he has the full support of head coach Frank Lampard and the club’s board.
Kante was at Chelsea’s Cobham training base on Tuesday but has not trained since after expressing concerns.
The 29-year-old, though, did return on Thursday to undergo a second round of coronavirus testing.
Kante lost his older brother to a heart attack just weeks before the World Cup in 2018. A few months earlier, the player himself fainted in training before being given a clean bill of health.
Troy Deeney and Danny Rose have also expressed concerns about returning to training with data from the Office of National Statistics suggesting black men and women are almost twice as likely to die from coronavirus compared to white men and women.
Chelsea are set to be without Kante for their last nine remaining Premier League games, if the season resumes.
Watford manager Nigel Pearson says Adrian Mariappa’s positive test for coronavirus shows how the virus can affect people in different ways.
Mariappa tested positive earlier this week along with two non-playing members of staff, but Pearson says the defender is feeling well and looking forward to returning to training once given the all clear.
Pearson told Sky Sports News: “When I saw him for the test last week, I was sitting in the car park chatting to players as he came past so I had a chance to touch base with most of them.
“He looks exceptionally well and feels very well himself so I think it’s an example of how this virus can affect people in different ways.