Chelsea, Clubs, English Premier League, Story

Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United and Man City vs. Arsenal will be the first games back as Prem returns.

N’Golo Kante is back working on an individual programme at Chelsea‘s training ground but is yet to resume group sessions, sources have told ESPN.

Clubs had been training in small groups of no more than five for over a week before a vote on Wednesday approved contact sessions for the first time.

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However, Kante decided to follow an individual programme at home after expressing concerns at the risk of contracting coronavirus or passing it to his family, especially given a tragic personal history which includes the loss of his brother to a heart attack two years ago.

Blues head coach Frank Lampard and his staff remained fully supportive of the 29-year-old’s stance on the issue, affording him as much time as possible to feel safe to return, as revealed by ESPN last week.

In what is being viewed as a positive step by both the player and the club, Kante is now working alone at Cobham having been encouraged by the club’s protocols and the small number of positive tests across the Premier League.

There have been just 12 positive cases from 2,752 players and staff tested.

No timeframe has been put on Kante’s return to group sessions and so it remains possible the midfielder could miss the start of the season if he is not sufficiently up to speed.

However, the club are not putting any pressure on Kante to take part in contact training, mindful of the delicate situation.

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