'We're not lab rats' - Premier League stars refuse training return

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Watford skipper Troy Deeney insists he won't return to training after Premier League teams resumed group activities ahead of a potential season restart.

Deeney, who's been an outspoken critic of plans to rush players back following a two-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, said fears over his son's health have kept him away from Watford's training ground.

"My son is only five, he had breathing difficulties, so I don't want to come home to put him in more danger," Deeney told boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew in a podcast on YouTube.

"I can't get a haircut until mid-July but I can go and get in a box with 19 people and go and jump for a header and nobody could answer the questions, not because they didn't want to, just because they don't know the information.

"So I said if you don't know the information, why would I put myself at risk?"

England international Danny Rose said Premier League players are being treated like "lab rats".

"I'm dying to get back to football but just with the things that are happening right now, people are going through this coronavirus pandemic a lot worse than me, I don't want to be complaining about everything," Rose, who is on loan to Newcastle from Spurs, told The Lockdown Tactics podcast.

"Just off the fact that people are suggesting we should go back to football, like we're guinea pigs or lab rats.

Deeney and Rose's comments came on a day where it emerged six unnamed people at EPL clubs had tested positive to COVID-19 with plans for a resumption of play pencilled in for June 12.

In a statement on their website, the Premier League said the six people were from three clubs and will now go into self-isolation for seven days.

"The Premier League can today confirm that, on Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19," the statement read.

"Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs."

No specific details were provided as to which club or individuals were affected.

From Tuesday, clubs were allowed to let small groups train together, while still adhering to strict social distancing rules.

Players were allowed to train together but without contact, while they were told to be dressed when they arrived and to change at home.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce told BBC Radio 4 that the club had taken all the necessary precautions to assure the safety of all involved.

"The attention to detail has been quite fantastic," Bruce said.

"The vast majority of our squad have seen it and are satisfied.

"But everybody's personal circumstances are different. You could have a pregnant wife at home or you could have a sick mother-in-law or whatever.

"We'd have to respect them."

Source AAP