West Brom waiting to undergo virus testing
Albion’s players will be tested for coronavirus later this week in the hope they can then increase their training schedules.
Testing for all Championship players, coaches and medical staff will take place tomorrow and Friday as the EFL takes another step forward towards resuming the 2019/20 season.
Every Baggies player who is due to report for training next Monday will be tested in the hope they can enter ‘phase one’ of the EFL’s training programme.
Albion partially reopened their Walsall training base for the first time last Wednesday to allow players to use the site.
The club felt it would be beneficial for them to work on the 43-acre site where there is less chance of picking up the virus than if they ran through a park.
But all squad members have continued to work on their own to personalised exercise programs.
Players who test negative for coronavirus this week, however, will be able to enter the phase one stage of training – which will allow them to work in groups of four or five while social distancing.
Albion’s players will receive their results from the coronavirus tests within 24 hours, but those results will not be made public.
In line with the Premier League, everyone will be tested twice a week.
The EFL have hired Nationwide Pathology to carry out the testing of Championship players and staff.
The decision to use the Leicestershire company came as a surprise as it was expected they would use the same firm instructed by the Premier League – Hong Kong-based Prenetics.
Tests will be procured centrally by the EFL, but the 24 Championship clubs have to meet the costs.
The Express & Star understands the testing programme will cost Albion around £140,000.
While the EFL has arranged a centralised testing programme, Leeds have also ordered their own on-site testing machine, according to reports.
Marcelo Bielsa’s squad will continue to be tested through the EFL’s official programme.
But the club could use additional machine to test players’ families and wider staff as an extra precautionary measure.