Manchester City‘s Raheem Sterling said that players may need up to five weeks of training before the Premier League should start again while speaking to USWNT star Megan Rapinoe on his YouTube channel.
Premier League clubs are due to discuss the next steps in restarting the season on Monday, with team training sessions on the agenda ahead of a conference call.
Elite sport in the United Kingdom could be played behind closed doors starting June 1, but only if the coronavirus pandemic continues to subside and the league can ensure “avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.”
Numerous dates have been put forward, but there is no consensus and Sterling believes clubs will need over a month’s worth of training to be in condition to play.
Speaking to Rapinoe on his YouTube channel, Sterling said: “You can’t come back in with one and a half or two weeks [of training]. You’d need a full four to five weeks, especially if you’re going to go back into competition, when you’re literally paid to win. You do need to do that preparation. You can’t just go straight in.”
Sterling said that he found the U.K.’s lockdown measures difficult to deal with at first but is now looking forward to playing again.
“The beginning [of lockdown] was definitely weird, then I started to say to myself, I can’t keep doing this, I can’t just be in this dark room playing my Call of Duty for six or seven hours. I just got a little schedule in,” he said.
“I felt lost for the first couple of weeks, but then it just flew by. I can’t wait to get back out there. We’ve had a lot of gym sessions on Zoom, we’ve had our programmes being sent over to us, so I’ve been trying my best to keep up with the plan.”
The Premier League season was suspended on March 13, and some players have expressed concerns about restarting too soon.
“I don’t give a f— about the nation’s morale; people’s lives are at risk.”