Watford's Troy Deeney. Picture: REUTERS / LEE SMITH
Watford's Troy Deeney. Picture: REUTERS / LEE SMITH

London — Watford captain Troy Deeney says he will not resume training this week out of concern for his son’s health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Premier League players are allowed to return to training from Tuesday after clubs agreed to allow “small group” sessions, with a possible resumption of normal contact training next week.

Deeney, 31, said last week he would not put his family at risk.

“We’re due back in this week. I’ve said I’m not going in,” he said on a podcast with boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and former World Boxing Council (WBC) cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew.

“My son is five months and he’s had breathing difficulties. I don’t want to come home to put him in more danger. You’ve got to drive in in your own kit, you can’t have showers. Then you’ve got to drive back home in the same dirty kit.”

Britain’s statistics office said recently that black men were 4.2 times likelier to die of Covid-19-related causes than white males.

About a third of Premier League players are from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background.

“While we are getting tested and while we are going to be in a very safe environment, it only takes one person to get infected within the group. I don’t want to be bringing that home,” said Deeney.

“I can’t get a haircut until mid-July, but I can go and get in a box with 19 people and jump for a header. I don’t know how that works. No-one could answer the questions, not because they didn’t want to, just because they don’t know.”

The UK’s Covid-19 official death toll is nearly 43,000, according to a Reuters tally of data that includes suspected cases and confirms the country’s status as the worst-hit in Europe.