Ipswich players begin virus testing as Blues prepare to step up pre-season plans

James Norwood undergoes a coronavirus test (inset) as Ipswich Town step up pre-season training plans

James Norwood undergoes a coronavirus test (inset) as Ipswich Town step up pre-season training plans. Picture: ITFC/INSTAGRAM - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town players have begun coronavirus testing as the Blues prepare to ramp up their training programme ahead of the new season.

Paul Lambert’s squad returned for pre-season training on July 22 under phase one of the return to training protocol, which saw players work in small groups at staggered intervals as they came together for their first sessions since football’s stoppage in March.

Phase two, though, would allow the squad to undergo full contact training and it’s at this stage testing is required.

MORE: Town interested in former Derby defender Keogh as Dundee United enquire about NsialaThe Town squad began that testing process today, ahead of the club potentially moving on to phase two in the coming days. A testing programme is just one of the necessary steps needed to fulfil the phase two guidelines, with Town working on other areas of the protocol before officially moving to the next phase.

Ipswich players are currently arriving at training already in their kit and are not using the canteen or changing rooms at their Playford Road base, with these measures remaining in place even once they have moved on to phase two.

EFL protocol suggest full-contact training begins in small groups of two or three players before moving on to larger groups of between four and twelve, ahead of a return to full team sessions.

MORE: Two clubs showing interest in Ipswich Town striker Norwood

The new League One season is due to begin on September 12, though there is also the possibility of a Carabao Cup game on September 5 and an EFL Trophy group game the following Tuesday.

Ipswich are likely to begin their pre-season match programme in the next two weeks, with all of those games likely to be played at training grounds.

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