Chelsea FC has started the first round of pre-season training while missing a big chunk of its roster. Reports have surfaced that at least eight players are stuck in quarantine as part of coronavirus related safety protocols.

Four players have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in their most recent routine tests. Meanwhile, another four players have been asked to go into quarantine. Goal has named Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Fikayo Tomori as four of the players involved, but it is unclear if they are the ones who have returned positive coronavirus tests.

The tests were conducted at the end of last week, ahead of the first pre-season training sessions. The 2020-21 English Premier League season is scheduled to return on the weekend of September 12, and the extended absence of such a large part of the squad is giving Frank Lampard some major headaches.

While those who have tested positive remain unnamed, it is believed that the four named players are in isolation after returning from a trip to Mykonos, Greece. Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have also causes a few issues with Gareth Southgate's England selection for the UEFA Nations Cup. It remains to be seen if they will be able to join the national team.

Southgate is certainly sharing in Lampard's woes, after he also had to drop Manchester United captain Harry Maguire from his England squad. Incidentally, Maguire also spent his brief summer holiday in Mykonos. However, it is not the coronavirus that is keeping him away from the national team. Instead, he has been dropped thanks to an assault case that stemmed from a pub brawl on the party island.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, 12 clubs have been hit by the coronavirus. A total of 14 cases have been reported across the top flight, with some cases coming from Sheffield United, West Ham and Brighton to name a few. With less than three weeks left before the next season officially starts, it remains to be seen if the virus will wreak havoc once again.

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard and Chelsea AFP / Ben STANSALL