Watford manager Nigel Pearson confirmed on Friday that two more of his players are self-isolating despite the group resuming full team training. The pair is in quarantine after coming into contact with persons who had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The English Premier League is currently on schedule with its 'Project Restart' after the coronavirus pandemic led the competition to be suspended in March. As part of the plans outlined to aid the resumption, teams have started training in small groups after being given the green light by the government.
A report from earlier this week indicated that the league's initial test returned six positive results from 748 samples. Among the confirmed cases, Watford's Adrian Mariappa was identified as one of the infected persons alongside two other staff members. All three individuals have since been in self-isolation, with Nigel Pearson revealing that Mariappa, in particular, is responding well to treatment.
Nevertheless, the Hornets have now been dealt another blow with two more first-team players forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with relatives who had tested positive for coronavirus. Regarding the number of players absent this week, the Watford boss said: "One through testing positive, two more through being in contact with somebody else and the others because they decided not to come in.
"I don't intend to give specific numbers, but we've had several players who have not been available for different reasons this week, but it is what it is.
"We can't do much about that at the moment, and hopefully that situation will change in time."
Troy Deeney, the skipper of Watford, was among the players who failed to show up to training. The striker is part of several stars who have spoken against the Premier League's resumption, considering the risk it poses.
In a relative development, another report from the UK media on Friday revealed that three Premier League clubs are discussing the prospect of replacing fans with cardboard cut-outs in stadiums when the season resumes. According to the Sun, teams are looking forward to replicating the experience pioneered by Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga.
The German side managed to fill their home stadium with more than 140,000 cardboard cut-outs ahead of the return of their league last weekend.