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Caballero explains Kanté ‘had a bad time’ with COVID-19-like symptoms during lockdown

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Kanté living in fear and opting out of Chelsea training

Chelsea Training Session - Cobham Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

Chelsea backup goalkeeper Willy Caballero has shed some light on N’Golo Kanté’s situation in a recent interview, explaining why the Chelsea midfielder has chosen to not return to training and opting to remain isolated at home instead.

As it turns out, Kanté showed some of the symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19 at one point during the two-month lockdown, which only exacerbated his fears of the disease given his family history of heart problems. While most people under the age of 65 will not be affected at all by the coronavirus, those with underlying health conditions are much more susceptible to its effects, which can prove fatal. Heart problems are one of the leading causes of complications for COVID-19.

“It’s very understandable. He tested negative for Covid-19 but he had a bad time of it during quarantine with symptoms of the virus that gave him that fear.

“We respect him and we’ll wait until he feels comfortable because the truth is that to do what we’re doing you have to feel okay and feel confidence and after we start again, we have to all go forward together.”

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath — resemble many other flus, colds, and other respiratory infections, which could explain why Kanté may have been symptomatic but not actually sick from the novel coronavirus.

“N’Golo is a very humble and hard-working person who is always smiling and he must have his reasons to lift up his hand and say what he’s said.

“We did a lot of Zoom meetings with Frank Lampard and the other players and he said he didn’t feel safe going back to training because of the way he had felt over the last few weeks. We know he’s someone who loves training and running and is incapable of lying about something like this. We support him and we respect him.”

-Willy Caballero; source: TNT Sports via Metro

The good news is that Kanté doesn’t have the virus.

The bad news for N’Golo personally, for Chelsea as a club, for us as fans, and for football as a sport, even, is that the coronavirus isn’t going away anytime soon. A vaccine, if even possible, is probably a year away and while some antiviral drugs may help treat or mitigate the symptoms, they won’t prevent at-risk people from catching it and potentially suffering from the disease it causes.

Kanté looks set to miss the rest of the 2019-20 season by staying in lockdown, but what happens after that, starting next season, is anyone’s guess.