John Egan is a doubt for the Premier League match with Fulham because independent.ie reports the Sheffield United defender is self-isolating.
It’s after being in close contact with an unnamed Republic of Ireland player who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Egan is currently away on international duty with his country. He played no part in Sunday’s 0-0 Nations League draw with Wales because of this latest development.
The player tested positive upon returning from the playoff defeat to Slovakia on Thursday. A second test confirmed the original result.
Four of the squad had been in close contact with them and had to self-isolate as a result. As well as Egan, that included Callum Robinson, Alan Browne and Callum O’Dowda.
This was a separate incident to that in which of member of the backroom staff also tested positive. This turned out to be a false positive, but still ruled out Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah because of their close proximity to them on a plane.
Why John Egan could now miss Fulham fixture
As per government advice, those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, must then self-isolate for 14 days.
If that person is then tested themselves and it comes back negative, they must still complete the two weeks’ quarantine.
This is not specific guidance for sportspeople. Yet it would suggest that Egan could well miss Sunday’s match with the Cottagers.
Even if the positive result was returned last Thursday, the centre-back would still not have completed 14 days by this weekend.
Of course, Egan could still test positive himself. It’s something which is likely considering he has been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.
Either way it creates selection problems for Chris Wilder ahead of the visit of Fulham to Bramall Lane. Wilder is already without Jack O’Connell at the back in what has been a stuttering start to the new season for the Blades.
They have lost all four of their league games so far. Wilder is hopeful of bringing in a new defender before Friday’s deadline to cover for the absence of O’Connell.
With Egan no potentially out as well, it could now be even more vital.