Newcastle’s preparations for Friday night’s clash with Aston Villa have been thrown into chaos following an outbreak of coronavirus at the club’s training ground.
Steve Bruce’s squad are currently isolating following a growing number of cases at St James’ Park, with the first-team players have been informed to stay at home with training cancelled on Monday and Tuesday.
According to Sky Sports, two further individuals returned positive tests on Sunday, following the three cases that Bruce confirmed following the 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Friday night.
There are now fears that the infection has spread with a full round of testing conducted on Sunday, with players told to stay away from the training ground ahead of the results of the latest testing.
Further testing is set to be conducted tomorrow, though there are fears that Newcastle will be unable to train ahead of their trip to Villa Park in just three days time.
Bruce labelled the situation as ‘difficult’ following the win over Palace last week, though Premier League rules introduced at the start of the campaign make it unlikely the clash will be postponed, even in the event of multiple positive results during this week’s testing.
Only a mass outbreak – leaving a club with less than 14 players available – would warrant a postponement, with U-23 players who have experience with the senior squad expected to cover losses of first-team stars.
The Premier League yesterday confirmed there were 10 positive tests over the past week from 1,381 individuals tested across the representative clubs.