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Arsenal becomes first Premier League club to return for training amid COVID-19 pandemic

Arsenal stars have returned to training after 47 days away during the coronavirus pandemic. The Gunners are the first Premier League team to return to action.

Defender David Luiz and reserve keeper Emiliano Martinez were the first couple of players to be pictured arriving at the London Colney training centre in Hertfordshire.

SunSport revealed at the weekend that the Gunners are returning to training.

Arsenal’s ten-pitch Hertfordshire HQ will be strictly conforming Government social-distancing rules — with players working on a different pitch and will have their own footballs to avoid any threat of cross-contamination.

A club source revealed: “We have been looking at opening up the training ground for a couple of weeks now because our players have been in lockdown longer than any other club’s.

“The players will continue to train in strict isolation on separate pitches and will not be allowed to mingle or socialise together.”

The return to Colney is strictly voluntary although the vast majority of the 25-man senior squad are expected to take advantage of the opportunity today.

And the decision came just days after four Arsenal players – Nicolas Pepe, Granit Xhaka, Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette – were reminded of the club’s isolation rules.

The players will travel alone to the training ground in groups of five for a series of daily one-hour work-outs which will be supervised by the club’s fitness coaches and medical staff.

There will be no access to the gym or changing rooms as all the buildings will remain locked, which means players will have to arrive in their training kit and go home to shower.

It is not yet known if boss Mikel Arteta, who became British football’s first coronavirus victim last month, will attend but the manager is likely to be present after receiving the all-clear to return to work following his illness.

Arteta underwent a coronavirus test on March 10 after he started to feel sick and he was diagnosed as positive with the illness two days later.

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