Chelsea could be without midfielder N'Golo Kante for the remainder of the 2019/20 season should it get back underway, with the Frenchman said to be 'prepared' to sit out the rest of the campaign over fears of returning to training while the coronavirus pandemic persists.
English authorities have made clear their desire to complete the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, leading to a number of footballers voicing their concerns as COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of so many. Nonetheless, players recently returned to small group training, the first step towards the resumption of the season.
Kante was granted permission to miss Chelsea training on Wednesday over fears about Project Restart. The World Cup winner did take part in training on Tuesday, but was not convinced by the decision to return to training so soon.
Sky Sports now report that Kante is prepared to miss the Blues' remaining nine Premier League fixtures as he remains concerned. He has been granted permission to train at home, and the report states that he has the full support of his manager Frank Lampard, as well as the club's board.
The 29-year-old has not trained with his Chelsea teammates at their training ground since Tuesday, but did come in on Thursday for the latest round of testing for the coronavirus. The report alludes to the fact that the midfielder himself has experienced problems with his health in the past, as have members in his family.
As a result, Kante could understandably be factoring this into his decision. The former Leicester man is not the only player in England's top flight to raise concerns, with Watford's Troy Deeney explaining that he wouldn't be returning to training as he wouldn't want to risk infecting his son. Danny Rose is another who has not held back in criticising the decision-makers, claiming that players are being treated like guinea pigs.