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19 October 2020

But rest of the squad get green light for Doncaster trip as strict protocols pay off

Kayden Jackson has been ruled out of action for at least 10 days after testing positive for Covid-19 but the rest of the first-team squad have been given the all-clear to play against Doncaster tonight.

The Town striker reported feeling unwell last Friday and was told to stay at home and not to attend training. He was tested for the virus and has been self-isolating since showing symptoms.

Although not required to do so by the EFL, Town took the decision to test all the first-team players and coaching staff on Monday morning and all results have returned negative.

“The most important thing is that Kayden is feeling a lot better now,” Town physio, Matt Byard, told the Club website.   

“He was clearly unwell and was displaying moderate symptoms of the virus and with the test proving positive, he will be self-isolating for at least 10 days but it’s more likely to be 14.

“We tested all the first-team players and coaching staff first thing yesterday and the results have come back clear.

“It’s obviously a relief because we could have been missing several players or staff if the virus had been passed on. It’s a reminder to everyone about the situation we are all facing at the moment.

“I think it also backs up the stringent measures we have in place at the training ground that minimise contact as much as possible and that could well have been a factor in the virus not being passed on to other players and staff.”

Players are still expected to drive to training in kit and return home immediately after the session is finished. There are no shower facilities in use, no canteen available and social distancing is in operation as much as possible.

The main training ground building is occupied only by Lee O’Neill, general manager of football operations, and a couple of administration staff. Manager Paul Lambert and his backroom team are based in the spacious dome, as are the medical staff.

As well as the first-team squad undergoing tests, a deep clean of the training ground took place yesterday and only the senior players and staff were given access to the Playford Road base.

“There are no guidelines to say we had to test the players and staff. No one has reported any symptoms but we felt we had a duty of care to test everyone -  and a duty of care to Doncaster as well,” explained Lee.

“We have made the training ground as safe as we possibly can. We have strict protocols in place and it’s been that way since the players returned for pre-season.

“It provides challenges for sure and over the last 24 hours or so, we didn’t know who would be available and who wouldn’t.

“We were always going to travel on the day but if we hadn’t got the results before setting off this morning, then we would have looked at the players driving at least part of the journey to Doncaster in their own cars which is obviously not ideal.

“As I said, challenging times but Covid is challenging everyone at the moment.”

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