Rotherham United striker Freddie Ladapo back after coronavirus concern

Rotherham United striker Freddie Ladapo back after coronavirus concern

By Paul Davis | 28/03/2020

Rotherham United striker Freddie Ladapo back after coronavirus concern
Freddie Ladapo

ROTHERHAM United hot-shot Freddie Ladapo has been given the all-clear to resume training after completing a period of self-isolation sparked by coronavirus fears.

The 17-goal hitman went behind closed doors at his Wickersley home when he developed a fever just before the EFL called a halt to football a fortnight ago.

But the 27-year-old has made a full recovery and is now working out under the online guidance of head of player performance Ross Burbeary.

Back-up goalkeeper Lewis Price also self-isolated as a precaution when his brother contracted the disease and he too is training again.

"Freddie is all right," manager Paul Warne confirmed. "He did his first run back on Tuesday night. He said he felt exhausted because he hadn't done anything for nearly two weeks.

"Pricey is all right as well. They're both through it. They weren't training initially but they are now."

Players have been told to stay away from the Millers' Roundwood HQ and they are keeping fit at home with daily runs and group sessions overseen via a video link by Burbeary.

Most of Rotherham's non-playing staff were this week furloughed (temporarily laid off), with the Government paying 80 per cent of their wages.

For now, the playing operation remains unaffected, but that could change as there is little income coming into the club.

Warne's team were in second place in League One when the fixture schedule was suspended indefinitely to avoid a further spread of coronavirus and the boss believes the season, which has nine games to run, will be seen through to its conclusion at some stage.

"Everything is being done to try to finish it," he said. "It's just about where, when and how. I can't see how the EFL can't finish it really.

"I think they will have to think outside the box a bit and it might be, as crazy as this sounds, a case of games Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday Thursday, Sunday. It will be fired off.

"At the moment the lads are training on their own. When they come back, the games have to completed quickly because players will need some physical and mental rest before another ten-month slog starts.

"I know they're getting a bit of physical rest by being in isolation now but that's not a mental rest, is it?

"I don't know if we will get a chance to go on holiday. I'm not trying to be all 'boo-hoo' here but to go a full year without a holiday would be a bit tough.

"The world might not be in a place for a while where holidays and air travel are acceptable. Hopefully we will finish this season and then start the next one with less cup games."

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A QUARTET of injured Rotherham United players have been reporting to a near-deserted training ground for treatment this week.

Paul Warne's squad are staying away from Roundwood and exercising on their own because of the coronavirus outbreak but the 'keep out' order didn't apply to centre-halves Michael Ihiekwe, Clark Robertson and Curtis Tilt and young striker Jacob Gratton.

"Icky, Robbo, Tilty and Gratts have been in," said Warne. "They have been doing some extra strength work."

Gratton has a long-term injury cruciate-knee-ligament issue but Ihiekwe (knee), Robertson (foot) and Tilt (hip) may all be available when the EFL suspension of league fixtures is finally lifted.

With the headcount at Roundwood much reduced, management, medical staff and the injured players had been able to observe the two-metre social-distancing guidelines as much as possible before the complex was closed on Friday.

"The sun has been glorious all week and, ironically, the pitches have never looked better," Warne said. "It's just a pity we can't get on them as a group.

"The fit lads have been doing online training with our head of player development, Ross Burbeary. There's been 10.30am a group and a video platform so everyone can see everyone else.

"We're trying to keep the lads socially involved with each other. Every day they're doing stuff. Everything is being monitored by GPS.

"There will obviously be some de-conditioning over the next few weeks with no group training but we're trying to reduce it as much as we can."



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