Willy Caballero insists individual circumstances must be taken into account as players across the Premier League begin returning to training ahead of a potential competitive restart next month.
The Blues have been back at Cobham for the past week as part of the first step in the Premier League’s phased resumption, in line with the Return to Training Protocol.
The squad have been split into smaller groups in order to enforce social distancing measures, with work focused mainly around improving fitness levels after over two months in lockdown.
A vote on moving into the second phase, which includes more conventional contact training, will be taken by shareholders at a Premier League meeting today (Wednesday).
N’Golo Kante has missed recent sessions at Cobham and Caballero says the Frenchman’s decision is fully understood and supported by his team-mates.
‘It’s very understandable,’ said the 38-year-old. ‘We respect him and we’ll wait until he feels comfortable because the truth is that to do what we’re doing, you have to feel okay and feel confidence.
‘After we start again, we have to all go forward together.’
Caballero, who signed a one-year extension to his Chelsea contract last week, went on to explain the reasoning behind Kante’s decision to stay away for the time being.
‘N’Golo is a very humble and hard-working person who is always smiling,’ continued the keeper. ‘He must have his reasons to lift up his hand and say what he’s said.
‘We did a lot of Zoom meetings with Frank Lampard and the other players and he said he didn’t feel safe going back to training because of the way he had felt over the last few weeks.
‘We know he’s someone who loves training and running and is incapable of lying about something like this. We support him and we respect him.’