The news broke after the starting lineups were announced, with head coach Frank Lampard confirming that the reason behind Kai Havertz’s absence was a COVID-19 diagnosis.
After Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Rennes, just the second match all season without Havertz, the head coach provided a bit more detail on the situation.
“It showed up in the UEFA testing on Monday. We retested yesterday when we found out. Clearly everyone else in the squad is negative, so that is a good sign. I’ve spoke to Kai a couple of times since we found out.
“He’s at home, he’s isolating and he was very disappointed because he wants to play. He had some minor symptoms yesterday, his symptoms have escalated slightly today but he is fine. I spoke to him two hours before the game today and he’s disappointed to be out.
“He’s trying to do all the right things. It’s just one of those things in the modern day with where we’re at. Hopefully he isolates, does the right things and comes back firing.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
So, the good news is that no one else has tested positive (yet, anyway, since sometimes these things show up delayed) and no one else has had to isolate alongside him either. The process and the safety protocols work!
The slightly concerning news is that Havertz is not asymptomatic, unlike the vast majority of COVID-19 cases, but hopefully his symptoms will subside quickly and without any lasting damage.
The 21-year-old, who posted a congratulatory message on Instagram following the win, will have to isolate for at least 7-10 days as per protocol, and pass at least one (if not two) tests in order to be cleared to return to training and match action.