Ben Chilwell hands fitness boost to Chelsea and England by returning to training while every member of Three Lions squad tests negative for Covid-19 amid sharp spike of cases across the Premier League
- All 22 players in Gareth Southgate’s England squad tested negative for Covid-19
- Club bosses are increasingly concerned following a sharp rise in positive cases
- On the injury front, Ben Chilwell returned to full England training on Tuesday
- It is a boost for Chelsea as he endured a back spasm in the defeat to Belgium
England’s entire 22-man squad have tested negative for Covid-19 to ease concerns of club bosses following a record spike in positive coronavirus tests among Premier League personnel.
Top-flight bosses announced on Monday that there had been 16 new positive tests following 1,207 tests for players and staff between November 9 and November 15. The figure of 16 does not include those who have been on international duty.
Club bosses have held concerns for both positive coronavirus tests and injury, with Chelsea buoyed by the news that full-back Ben Chilwell returned to England training on Tuesday following a back spasm in the 2-0 defeat to Belgium.
Ben Chilwell left the pitch after picking up an injury in England’s game against Belgium
It remains unclear if Chilwell will feature in England’s Nations League dead rubber with Iceland
Chilwell sustained the injury in the Nations League match-up and there were fears it could rule him out of forthcoming games with Chelsea.
But having returned to full training it appears the spasm was a minor scare, although it is unclear if Chilwell will play any part against Iceland in a game that is a dead rubber.
While there was positive news regarding the suspected injury to Chilwell, the ongoing league-wide concern surrounds the impact of Covid-19, particularly on players.
Arsenal and Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny has tested positive for coronavirus on international duty
Matt Doherty tested positive for coronavirus and will now be forced out of the Tottenham side
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny both tested positive while away with Egypt and Tottenham will have to do without full-back Matt Doherty against Manchester City on Saturday as he is forced into quarantine having tested positive with the Republic of Ireland national team.
Doherty has emerged as a key man for Tottenham this season since joining in the summer from Wolves and is set to miss three games for Spurs.
He has to isolate for 14 days with Jose Mourinho’s men playing City next Saturday followed by Ludogorets in the Europa League on Thursday and then Chelsea on Sunday November 29.
There is no expectation right now that matches will be cancelled due to outbreaks of positive tests in squads.
Harry Kane and the rest of England’s 22-man squad tested negative in latest Covid-19 tests
Jose Mourinho has bemoaned the international break ahead of Tottenham v Manchester City
The Premier League has a rigorous protocol in place to ensure those returning back from international duty – there is a figure of around 400 players and staff away – cannot contaminate training facilities.
While all of England’s squad tested negative on Tuesday, each member of playing and non-playing staff will have to again test negative, this time with a specific PCR test carried out for the Premier League.
This will need to be undertaken before an individual is allowed to return to training.