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Men’s football Watford’s Christian Kabasele can’t see how Premier League football makes a return on June 12

WATFORD defender Christian Kabasele believes the potential Premier League return date of June 12 would be “impossible” and that action should not resume until later that month.

Project Restart is well under way as the English top-flight attempts to resume action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Phase one of small group training, respecting social distancing began this week after being voted through by clubs after testing got under way.

Defender Adrian Mariappa and two members of Watford’s staff returned positive Covid-19 tests ahead of the resumption of training, which Kabasele says cannot be rushed due to the threat of injury.

“Nothing has been confirmed yet,” he said of the Premier League’s return. “Personally I follow the news through the media because nothing has been official for the moment.

“We speak about June 12. I think it is impossible because it would be less than three weeks’ training after a long period without doing anything, it’s a risk for us.

“I’m not sure, I don’t have any information but I think we are not going to start on June 12.

“The most obvious choice for me is the end of June. You [would] have at least four weeks to train with the team if it’s possible.

“We will see. For the moment it’s a big question mark on this.”

Kabasele underlined the need for “proper preparation” on the Counter Attack podcast, where he was asked about Troy Deeney’s stance on the coronavirus.

The Hornets skipper said he will not return to training, citing concerns over his five-month-old son who has breathing difficulties, and over the Office for National Statistics data which shows that black people and those from other ethnic minorities suffer disproportionately from Covid-19.

Former Wales striker Nathan Blake said on Thursday that if he was asked to play, there would be “no chance” of him “putting myself at risk” and that it’s “crazy” for black players to step back onto the pitch under current circumstances.

“The club has been very clear, really clear with that – every individual player is making his own choice,” Kabasele said.

“They are not putting pressure on us to say ‘you have to be back’. It’s about the player, the player’s feelings and every personal situation.

“For the moment, they came to us with phase one and personally I was quite happy with what they presented to us, so we will see what they are planning for phase two and phase three.

“If it was starting tomorrow training 11 v 11 with contact, with everybody at the training ground, I would not go, that’s for sure.

“But with phase one, personally I think everything is put in place and they have tried to make the training ground as safe as possible.”

In the English Football League, the first results from Covid-19 tests among Championship players are set to be published on Sunday.

Players with League One and Two clubs have not been tested, and will therefore not be able to return to group training on May 25.

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