West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna says it could take up to a month before players are ready to return to competitive action.
Like players across Europe, Ogbonna currently finds himself in isolation as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic.
With the Premier League suspended until the end of April, that means players currently have to follow specific guidelines from their clubs so they can train from home and maintain their fitness.
It’s been suggested that, as a result, players won’t be ready to return to action should the Premier League ever return.
Ogbonna agrees with that and says it could take a month before he and his fellow professionals are ready to go.
“We train from home,” he told Tuttomercatoweb.
“We have our guidelines, given by the Moyes staff; we keep the club informed daily.
“The problem is that we live in the apartment, for some the accommodation is still temporary, and for an ad hoc preparation it will take time.
“It is right to think that it will take a month to get back in shape. The problem, however, is that now you have no way to train as you would like.”
Before the suspension, West Ham found themselves in the middle of a relegation battle after a disappointing campaign under Manuel Pellegrini.
That saw the Chilean sacked at the end of December, with David Moyes brought back for a second spell to try and revive the club.
The Scot’s arrival at the London Stadium was not met with enthusiasm, but Ogbonna admits he was happy to see him return.
“We started well, then ups and downs. We were in a competitive position, now you have to fight to resist relegation. Luck, bad luck, we’ll see how it goes. We believe it.
“Well, I’m happy. He has always done a good job in the past. He has come back with the will of the first: for company choices, it didn’t go as hoped, I’m happy he’s here.”
The West Ham defender has been forced to watch from afar as the COVID-19 situation has worsened in his native Italy.
His home country has been hit particularly hard by the virus, with 9,134 having died already with that figure continuing to grow by the day.
It’s a horrendous situation, and Ogbonna wants to give his thanks to those working on the frontline against it.
“I want to thank the doctors in Italy who are taking care of the people, the sick, the infected. Those who risk every day,” he added.
“Everyone’s goal and thoughts go to Italy, to our country, to this pandemic. Before talking about ourselves, it is primary to put that in front.
“Only in this way will we get out of it, only in this way will there be an after for everyone.”