ROTHERHAM United are hoping their trio of quarantined players are back in training before the end of the regulation fortnight of self-isolation.
Three of Paul Warne’s squad were caught out when they flew to Majorca last week during a pre-season break and couldn’t get home before the deadline when the UK Government suddenly imposed new travel restrictions due to a spike in coronavirus cases in Spain.
“I let all the players have a week off. There wasn’t any issue at the time,” the boss said. “Regrettably, I’ve now got three players who were out there who are now going to have to isolate.
“I’m pretty hopeful that it won’t be for the period of time mentioned. There are things going on behind the scenes with the professional boards to reduce the quarantine time.
“They’re elite sportsmen and in the environment they are in with us the players are tested for Covid-19 all the time.”
Captain Richard Wood is one of the three affected and the others are thought to be Matt Crooks and Trevor Clarke.
Warne rewarded his squad with time off after they had worked hard in the first three weeks of summer training.
The Millers had reported back earlier than most clubs and the manager knew he would still have seven weeks after their holiday to prepare his promoted players for the 2020/21 Championship campaign.
“It was my decision to let them go,” he said. “Obviously, I didn’t foresee what was going to happen or I wouldn’t have taken the risk.
“I am very well aware of the fact that it is going to be a long season. It doesn’t matter what you do for a job, you want to try to have a family holiday. That’s what I was letting the lads do.
“It was done with the best of intentions. They’re footballers, but they’re also humans, don’t forget. They’re dads, brothers, sons and husbands.
“If they have to miss two weeks of group training then that’s what will happen, but I’m hopeful that won’t be the case. Luckily, we got three weeks of solid work into them anyway before they went away so they’re ahead of the curve.”
The EFL have confirmed that next season will kick off on September 12 and the fixture list is due to be released next month.
“Initially we thought it was going to be August 29,” Warne said. “That’s what we were told. That’s why we came back early.
“There are still rumours there is going to be a cup game before September 12 but I haven’t read anything or had any confirmation.”