N’Golo Kante has chosen to miss Chelsea training after being granted compassionate leave amid fears over the restart of the Premier League season.
The midfielder returned for small group training at the club’s Cobham training ground on Tuesday after registering a negative test for coronavirus, but is believed to have registered concerns over the safety of football’s return and was granted permission to miss Wednesday’s session.
According to the Telegraph, Kante holds ‘concerns’ over the safety of a return to football amidst the global pandemic, as the Premier League continues discussions over a return to action behind-closed-doors next month.
Kante’s fears concerns come after the death of his brother to a heart attack shortly before the World Cup two years ago, whilst the midfielder also lost his father when he was just 11-years-old.
The France international was also subject of cardiology tests after collapsing at the west London side’s training ground in 2018, though the subsequent tests did not reveal any heart problems.
Kante’s absence was granted with the full permission of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and his coaching staff, with the club fully supportive of any players who have expressed their concerns over returning to training.
The news comes after teammate Tammy Abraham expressed his apprehension at the Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’ plans, the forward revealing his fears at potentially passing the virus to his father, who suffers from asthma.
Abraham and Kante are amongst a host of leading names to have revealed their concerns over player welfare, with Watford captain Troy Deeney having already confirmed he will not return to training.
The 31-year-old decision comes amid fears over the safety of his young son – who has suffered from breathing difficulties – as well as the seemingly increased risks of Covid-19 on people of black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Six players and staff members from across the division tested positive for the virus, three of which were from Watford, one from Burnley, and the other two from an unnamed club.