‘It’s not a big deal’ - Former City winger feeling fine despite positive Covid-19 test

Elliott Bennett, left, in action for Blackburn at Carrow Road last season, during a 2-1 loss to Norw

Elliott Bennett, left, in action for Blackburn at Carrow Road last season, during a 2-1 loss to Norwich City Picture: Alan Stanford/Focus Images - Credit: Alan Stanford/Focus Images Ltd

Blackburn captain Elliott Bennett has tested positive for coronavirus but the former Norwich City winger has insisted he feels “fit and healthy”.

The 31-year-old had tested negative on Friday but a second test on Monday has returned a positive result, which means he will now isolate at home for seven days.

Speaking to Rovers official website, Bennett explained: “I feel fit and healthy. Hopefully this sends out a positive message to the community that perhaps many people have or have had the virus without showing any effects.

“I obviously would never have known if we hadn’t returned to training and taken the tests, because I don’t feel unwell and have got no symptoms whatsoever.

“There seems to have been a lot of hysteria about footballers returning to training, but it’s not a big deal at all. It’s the people who are seriously ill in hospital that we need to worry about, not footballers who are fit and healthy, and who aren’t showing any signs of being unwell.”

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Bennett scored three goals in 80 games for Norwich between 2011 and 2016, with a serious knee injury at the start of the 2013-14 season thwarting his strong start to life with City in the Premier League.

After loans at Brighton and Bristol City the former Wolves trainee joined Blackburn in January 2016 and has managed to get his career back on track, scoring nine goals in 175 matches for Rovers.

He plays alongside another former Canaries favourite at Ewood Park in Bradley Johnson, who has been working hard to raise funds and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) for care staff during football’s suspension due to the pandemic.

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City’s 2015 Player of the Season posted on Twitter: “I’ve known how serious this coronavirus has been for sometime now! But it does really hit home when someone you care about catches it!

Elliott Bennett pictured celebrating his winning strike at Tottenham for Norwich City in the Premier

Elliott Bennett pictured celebrating his winning strike at Tottenham for Norwich City in the Premier League in April 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“Being with him last few days at training he’s fine, healthy and fit, with no symptoms at all. @Ebenno88 stay strong bro, stay safe everyone.”

Another former Norwich team-mate, Anthony Pilkington, tweeted: “Benno stay safe pal. Hopefully a quick recovery boss.”

Bennett is one of three players to receive a positive result from the latest round of coronavirus testing in the EFL, with Fulham confirming the other two are players from their squad as Championship clubs gear up to resume the season next month.

Blackburn have confirmed that Bennett was the only positive result among 44 tests at their club and that those who were in the small group training alongside the midfielder under social distancing guidelines have all been re-tested and received negative results.

The EFL’s testing follows the Premier League’s lead, where there have been just 12 positive tests out of a total of 2,752 so far, with players and staff at each club being tested twice a week.

Players including Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and Watford defender Adrian Mariappa are among those to have tested positive, who also spoke about feeling feel and being asymptomatic as they began their seven days in isolation.

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