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Two more Watford players have been forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with somebody who tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We’ve had a couple more people who have to be in isolation because they’ve been in close contact with people who have tested positive, even though their own result came back negative,” Hornets boss Nigel Pearson said Friday, according to the Guardian’s Jamie Jackson and Jacob Steinberg.
Watford also confirmed earlier this week that defender Adrian Mariappa and two staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The news casts doubt on the Premier League’s Project Restart plot to resume the 2019-20 season in mid-June. A vote between Premier League clubs Monday ruled that teams were permitted to proceed with limited group training as of Tuesday as part of phase one of Project Restart.
Hornets defender Christian Kabasele said earlier Friday that a potential June 12 return would be “impossible.” Pearson echoed those sentiments, saying, “We’ve got until almost the end of August to finish the season. When we need to restart is debatable,” according to Jackson and Steinberg.
Asked if all of his players were in training, Pearson said, “They’re not, no.”
“One through testing positive, two more through being in contact with somebody else, and the others because they decided not to come in,” Pearson added. “The regulations (state) that people who have had relatively close contact with other people have to go into isolation, in the same way as someone who has tested positive.”
Watford captain Troy Deeney is among those refusing to return to training, with the striker highlighting the increased risk for minority players amid the ongoing global pandemic.