Brendan Rodgers says he was ‘really knocked’ by coronavirus
Leicester manager and his wife felt the effects of virus for three weeks before recovering
Brendan Rodgers: “It really did knock you, but thankfully it was nowhere near as serious as what a lot of people have had.” Photograph: Nick Potts/PA
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he and his wife Charlotte contracted the coronavirus in March and were “really knocked” for three weeks before recovering.
The 47-year-old described suffering a headache unlike any he had felt before, losing his sense of smell and taste and enduring breathing difficulties similar to the altitude problems he encountered when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2016.
Rodgers is the second Premier League manager, after Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta, to have confirmed catching the virus. He said came down with the symptoms exactly two weeks after Leicester’s last Premier League match, which was at home to Aston Villa on March 9.
“I wasn’t well and it was later detected I had the virus,” said Rodgers. “A week after that, my wife had it. We spent about three weeks feeling the effects of it. Of course we were nowhere near as bad as what a lot of people were but we lost our smell and taste for three weeks, we lost our strength, so I had a little feeling of whatever it must be like. It was tough.
“The strangest thing was the smell and the taste,” he continued. “You’re eating your dinner every day and you could not smell or taste anything. Then you lose your strength, you could hardly walk 10 feet in front of you and you were really blowing. I felt similar to the time when I was climbing Kilimanjaro and you get to a certain altitude, you walk and you really suffer in your breathing. And that’s what it felt like. You’re walking 10 to 20 yards and you’re thinking: ‘Goodness me’.
“At the time I hadn’t been tested but you know it’s different. The headache felt like it isolated one side of your head. Your strength gets taken out of you, your appetite goes and you can’t smell or taste.”
Rodgers and his wife decided they needed to know what they had. They got tests 21 days after feeling the first symptoms.
“It’s more ‘Christ, if I don’t have it, I wonder what this is?’ so that’s why we got a test, just to be reassured. It detected that we had the antibodies.”
“It really did knock you, but thankfully it was nowhere near as serious as what a lot of people have had,” said Rodgers. “You come out of it really grateful that you were fine and that you’ve got your health.”
Rodgers says he feels back to his best now and, given the uncertain science, is not taking it for granted that he has immunity from catching the virus again: so he and everyone else at Leicester, as per the Premier League protocol, are being tested twice a week to reduce any risk of spreading infection.
He says he is satisfied that sufficient safety measures have been put in place to allow the Premier League to plan for a return. Leicester resumed full contact training on Thursday. But he said that he would not put pressure on any player to return to action if they did not feel safe.
“We’ve had great dialogue with the players along the way. There’s been a lot of communication right the way through the club, so the players have been briefed all the way along. With any fears, worries or concerns there was an open door policy.
“Naturally everyone had a concern about whether it would be safe or not. But the measures that have been put in place by the police and the Premier League have been followed up to the last letter by the club.
“When the players came in you could see the amount of work that has gone in to ensure that this environment is safe. We also said to the players that this is entirely your decision. Feel free. If you’re not happy or you have a fear for yourself or your family, there is no pressure on you. But all the players have felt the support of the club and seen the work that has gone in and have really enjoyed being back into some sort of routine again.” – Guardian