Sheffield United defender, George Baldock, arguably understands the effect of the coronavirus outbreak better than most footballers.
That is because his brother, James, is a doctor and has been on the NHS front-line during the pandemic.
Baldock and his Blades teammates are back in training ahead of a planned return to Premier League action next month. ‘Project Restart’ plans to resume top flight football in England, behind closed doors, on June 12.
Yet some players have voiced their concerns about health and safety if fixtures come back in just a few weeks’ time.
Baldock – whose other brother Sam is also a footballer for Reading – is all too aware of the danger posed by Covid-19.
“My older brother is a doctor,” the 27-year-old told The Times. “He went off and specialised in sports medicine, but six weeks ago he got an email and they told him he was being redeployed back into the NHS – which was difficult for us.
“Touch wood, he’s been fine. Because he specialises in injuries they put him in A and E but he’s – finger on the button – ready to go. They told him that he needs to be ready for the respiratory systems.
“For me, my dad, my mum, my other brother, it was scary. One day my dad phoned me saying he was a bit down because of how worried he was.”
How Sheffield United are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak
There are strict protocols in place at United’s Shirecliffe base. Players socially distance and do not come into close contact with each other during any point during training.
Despite his inside knowledge of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the UK, Baldock says he can’t wait to get back playing. The right-back added that, as far as he is aware, none of the Blades squad oppose a return either.
Manager Chris Wilder is also in support. Wilder recently criticised those clubs blocking proposals of how to conclude the 2019/20 season.