Premier League protocol means players who test positive this week will have to stay away from the rest of the team for 14 days
Premier League players are facing a crucial week of testing as any positive test would likely rule them out from the opening round of restarted games.
All players and club staff are being tested for coronavirus twice a week ahead of the restart date of June 17, with this week’s sessions taking place on Tuesday and Friday.
The current protocol as part of Project Restart rules that in any case of a Premier League player returning a positive test he would be kept away from group training for a total of 14 days including the seven days of government-advised self-isolation.
It means although players can return to the training ground for individual work on day eight, subject to testing negative for the virus, they would not be able to reach ‘match fitness’ until the day before their first game back.
With Manchester City-Arsenal and Aston Villa-Sheffield United set to kickstart the league resumption in just over two weeks’ time, it means any player from those clubs that tests positive on Tuesday would almost certainly be forced to sit out their return to action.
Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings believes most players are in favour of the Premier League’s return amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Players from other clubs would likely also miss their first game should they return a positive test in the second batch on Friday – if, as expected, the Premier League confirms its first full round of fixtures will take place as expected on the weekend of Saturday, June 20.