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Kante stays away from Chelsea training over virus fears

The French World Cup winner joined up with Frank Lampard's squad on Tuesday as Chelsea resumed training following the Premier League's decision to allow socially distanced sessions.

FILE: Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge in London on 12 January 2019. Picture: AFP

LONDON - N'Golo Kante has been allowed to stay away from Chelsea's return to training due to his coronavirus fears.

The French World Cup winner joined up with Frank Lampard's squad on Tuesday as Chelsea resumed training following the Premier League's decision to allow socially distanced sessions.

But the 29-year-old missed Wednesday's small group practice with the blessing of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who is reported to have allowed him to train at home on compassionate leave.

Kante, who tested negative for the virus during this week's first batch of checks, is said to be unconvinced it is safe to train with his teammates while the pandemic is yet to be subdued in Britain.

Black and ethnic minorities are at greater risk of serious illness if they contract the virus, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Midfielder Kante is understood to have mostly remained indoors with one of his brothers since the suspension of the Premier League season on 13 March.

The former Leicester star experienced a health scare when he collapsed at Chelsea's training ground two years ago.

Tests did not reveal any heart concerns but he missed Chelsea's next game as a precaution.

Kante's elder brother Niamh died of a heart attack shortly before the 2018 World Cup.

Kante's decision to stay at home comes after Watford captain Troy Deeney opted not to join his team for the resumption of training.

Deeney's young child has breathing difficulties and he did not want to put his family at risk.

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