Up to this point, Tottenham Hotspur has been fortunate to evade a major outbreak of COVID-19 during the pandemic. Their luck may have just run out. Rumors swirled late Monday about a possible coronavirus outbreak at Hotspur Way, and now Spurs beat writer Alasdair Gold has confirmed it, stating that “a number” of players have tested positive for COVID.
Gold does not go into much detail as to how many players might be affected or whether there are any coaches who also tested positive. In October, two Spurs players, widely assumed to be Son Heung-Min and Bryan Gil, had a scare after they had a lateral flow test come back positive after returning from international duty. Subsequent PCR tests were negative and both footballers were cleared to play.
As we said the last time this happened, it would be irresponsible to speculate on who might be affected or to advance various online ITK reports that amount to hearsay. Emerson Royal and Bryan Gil were both ruled out of last Sunday’s win over Norwich City due to illness, however those omissions could be completely unrelated to this apparent outbreak.
Gold states that the players who tested positive all had lateral flow tests, which do have a chance of delivering false positives. The affected players are due to have PCR tests on Tuesday. Should multiple PCR tests come back negative, it will be assumed that the initial test was a false positive and the player(s) will likely be cleared for play.
Tottenham are scheduled to play Stade Rennais on Thursday in the final group stage of the Europa Conference League, a match that Tottenham must win if they are to avoid crashing out of the competition. This outbreak may also impact this Sunday’s trip to the AmEx to play Brighton & Hove Albion. It’s not clear right now whether the number of confirmed positive tests will have any effect on whether or not either match goes forward.
It’s also not clear whether the club will make any specific statements regarding individual players; the decision on whether to go public with the identity of an individual who has tested positive for COVID is up to the individuals affected. Right now (as of late Monday night ET when this article was written) the only thing we know is that there are “a number” of players that have tested positive.
In short, right now we don’t know much and we may not know. We may just have to live with that uncertainty pending future updates.