Most Premier League players will be returning to their respective training grounds in much worse shape than when they left them this week.
The past few months has seen the top-flights elite confined to their bedrooms, with the coronavirus pandemic bringing the world to a standstill.
Players have stayed in touch via video conference calls, and many have posted clips of themselves working out on mats. But in terms of how much real training they’ve been able to do, their opportunities have been very limited.
Social distancing means players have had no one to challenge on a ball, no one to challenge them on a ball, and no one shouting words of encouragement from the side of the training pitch.
Players falling below the standards of where they should be, upon their return to training this week, is to be expected.
There’s simply no way players can be expected to still be in peak physical condition following two months away from playing competitive sport, week-in, week-out.
But it seems Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has torn up this rule book.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Fernandes has actually quickened his pace while in lockdown.
Despite not being renowned for his acceleration, the Portuguese midfielder has ranked among the fastest players at the club, clocking up a top speed of 34.27kmh based on sprints over 5.5 metres, while confined to home.
United have been keeping track of every player while they have been working out from home on a system called STATSsport.
The same GPS player tracker is used by 10 other Premier League clubs.