Willy Caballero reveals N’Golo Kante has the Chelsea squad’s full backing in his continued absence from training. He was given permission to miss training due to fears over COVID-19.
Kante took part in a group session at the club’s training ground on Tuesday as players returned under strict social distancing rules – but then informed Frank Lampard of his health concerns and was granted leave.
The midfielder’s older brother, Niama, died of a heart attack shortly before the 2018 World Cup and he lost his father when he was only 11 years old.
A few months before his brother passed away, the 29-year-old even fainted himself at Chelsea’s training ground.
And Chelsea goalkeeper Caballero explains that while the France international tested negative for the virus, Kante suffered bad symptoms over the past weeks.
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Caballero told TNT Sports on Instagram Live: “It’s very understandable. He tested negative for COVID-19 but he had a bad time of it during quarantine with symptoms of the virus that gave him that fear.
“We respect him and we’ll wait until he feels comfortable because the truth is that to do what we’re doing you have to feel okay and feel confidence and after we start again, we have to all go forward together.
“N’Golo is a very humble and hard-working person who is always smiling and and he must have his reasons to lift up his hand and say what he’s said.
“We did a lot of Zoom meetings with Frank Lampard and the other players and he said he didn’t feel safe going back to training because of the way he had felt over the last few weeks.
“We know he’s someone who loves training and running and is incapable of lying about something like this. We support him and we respect him.”
Despite reservations from players like Kante and Watford captain Troy Deeney, who is also staying away from training, the Premier League is expected to proceed with ‘Project Restart’ and give the green light for limited contact in training this week.
June 19 is still seen as the likely date for the resumption of matches after the latest round of testing returned two positve results of coronavirus.
Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale said he was one of the players who tested positive, although he still backs a return to football action when it’s safe.
He told The Sun: “I still stand by what I said, that when it’s definitely safe, I’d be all for it.
“Seeing how our staff and our training ground is working at the moment, it does give you a feeling that everything is being taken to the smallest detail to be done properly. In that sense, you do feel very safe in training.