Paul Pogba’s ‘strange’ COVID-19 experience hints at the journey ahead for Newcastle United players

Paul Pogba felt ‘strange’ when he returned to action after suffering from COVID-19 and the Manchester United midfielder admits it took him a ‘long time’ to get his fitness back – which hints at the journey ahead for Newcastle United players affected by the virus.

Newcastle’s clash against Aston Villa was called off last week after a rise in cases at the club’s training ground and the Magpies have not trained at their Benton base since November 26.

The most important thing in all of this is the welfare of the players, staff members and their families. Regardless of whether Saturday’s upcoming game against West Brom is rearranged, clearly, those who have tested positive for coronavirus will need time to get back up to speed.

Kai Havertz, for example, had to build up his fitness again with some individual training sessions after contracting COVID-19 and, including his self-isolation period, the Chelsea midfielder had a three-and-a-half week break from games.

Pogba, meanwhile, admits he still ‘felt a weakness physically’ after returning a negative test ahead of Manchester United’s opening game of the season against Crystal Palace back in August.

“It’s strange,” he told MUTV about his experience. “It’s hard to explain. Even in training, I would say to the fitness coach that I feel strange. It’s not me. I got tired very fast and I’m out of breath really fast.

“The first game of the season, I couldn’t run. I was trying. I spoke with the manager, ‘I will start the game and let’s see’. But I was very out of breath and it took me a long time to get back to my fitness.”

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