Kante WITH hair as Chelsea stars return to training after coronavirus lockdown

Kante has hair as Chelsea players and some staff returned to Cobham on Tuesday afternoon to begin small group training, in line with the Premier League’s return-to-training protocols and UK Government guidelines on social distancing.

Premier League shareholders voted unanimously on Monday in favour of a return to socially distanced training, with players allowed to work together in groups of five.

Officials needed at least 14 positive votes to press ahead with phase one of the return to training, in which all contact between players remains banned.

And Chelsea wasted no time in taking advantage of the new allowances, their players pictured working together in small groups at training ground.

Manager Frank Lampard and his assistants were present as the squad got back together, the work primarily on fitness for the time being.

Lampard’s squad is potentially on a tight schedule with June 12 still being mooted as a prospective return date, despite a number of top players, including Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose, expressing misgivings.

And Lampard insisted he would take the views of his players into account as he looks to strike the right balance between a rigorous training programme with reduced staff levels, and his players’ specific physical and psychological needs.

Lampard added: ‘It’s been a job for us as staff to plan how phase one will look because it will be quite different due to the restrictions on how we can work.

‘It’s good for the players because they will be wanting to get back training in the right conditions; we know it’s difficult circumstances for everyone so it’s going to be a challenge to make sure that we get it right.

‘Our job from the coaching side is to make sure we’re careful with the players. The first steps will have to be very careful but all managers will be thinking a similar thing.

‘You can’t just tell them we’re going in this direction because this is something that’s affected everyone and their families.

‘Football has been put in its place. Everyone wants to get back playing, we all miss it, but we need to know the players are comfortable.’

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