Sunday, February 28, 2021
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Sunday, February 28, 2021

‘I could hardly walk’

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The Foxes manager was struck down with the illness in March but has now made a full recovery

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers says he has made a full recovery after contracting coronavirus shortly after the Premier League season was suspended.

Rodgers revealed in March three Leicester players had displayed symptoms of Covid-19 and were isolating as a precautionary measure. 

Leicester’s 4-0 win against Aston Villa on March 9 was the final Premier League match to be played before the shutdown.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has previously discussed his struggle with the respiratory disease, and Rodgers has likened the symptoms to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, which he climbed for charity while manager of Swansea in 2011.

“Me and my wife had it just after [the season] broke up. A week later I really started to struggle, I had no smell and no taste,” he told the BBC.

“I had no strength, and I really struggled, and my wife was the same as well. I got tested and we both had it. I could hardly walk.

“It reminded me of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, as you climb higher you get more breathless.

“Walking 10 yards felt very different. I went for a run and I just couldn’t do it.

“I felt really weak, had no real appetite, and had a weird sensation for three weeks of having no taste.”

The Premier League took its first step towards a resumption last week when players began training in small groups, before full contact training was given the green light on Wednesday.

“It was good to have that contact again and to be near them,” said Rodgers.

“The last couple of days we have split into groups of 12, which is not normal, but how they have adapted has been really nice.

“The rhythm of it [training] has changed but I’m really pleased with them physically and it’s like they have never been away.

“There hasn’t been anyone that has given us any inclination that they do not want to play. I feel safe and we are very lucky in football that we are being tested twice a week.

“One of the key things about keeping this virus away is being in the open air and that is where we are all day, so we are very fortunate.

“When we go to stadiums we won’t be in the same changing room. We will be in four or five different areas so that is an example of adaptation.”

The Premier League confirmed on Thursday that action will resume with two matches on June 17, before a full round of matches on June 19-21.

Leicester, who are third in the table, are scheduled to return to action with a trip to Watford and also face an FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at the end of the month. 

Rodgers is confident his side can pick up where they left off and secure Champions League football for next season, as well as lifting the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history.

“We are three-quarters of the way there and there is no reason why we cannot finish the job,” he added.

“It would only be the second time in the club’s history and it’s a dream we want to fulfil. If we can do something in the FA Cup, that would be spectacular as well.”

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