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'It was a big surprise because I haven't really left the house' - Watford star opens up on positive test

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The 33-year-old defender, who lives with his partner and three of his four children, has spent lockdown dividing his time between following his Watford fitness programme and homeschooling. Photo: Tess Derry/PA Wire.

The 33-year-old defender, who lives with his partner and three of his four children, has spent lockdown dividing his time between following his Watford fitness programme and homeschooling. Photo: Tess Derry/PA Wire.

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The 33-year-old defender, who lives with his partner and three of his four children, has spent lockdown dividing his time between following his Watford fitness programme and homeschooling. Photo: Tess Derry/PA Wire.

Adrian Mariappa has revealed his shock at being told he was the Watford player who had tested positive for coronavirus, despite not displaying any symptoms or breaking social-distancing guidelines.

Mariappa's was one of six positive results to come back from the first wave of Premier League testing this week, along with two members of Watford's staff and Ian Woan, the Burnley assistant manager.

The 33-year-old defender, who lives with his partner and three of his four children, has spent lockdown dividing his time between following his Watford fitness programme and homeschooling.

Speaking yesterday, Mariappa said: "Ever since I got my positive result back on Tuesday, I've been scratching my head to try to work out how I might have got coronavirus. It was a big surprise because I haven't really left the house, apart from some exercise and the odd walk with the kids. I've mainly just been homeschooling and keeping fit.

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"My lifestyle is very quiet, certainly no parties or going out or anything, so I really don't know how I got it. Like most people, we've been having more deliveries of food and things, so maybe that's one way, and my partner has been to the supermarket a few times."

Mariappa was informed of his positive test on Tuesday and now has to isolate away from the Watford squad and staff for seven days before he can have another test and potentially start training.

"The club doctor called to tell me and, to be honest, I did ask whether it could be 100 per cent accurate or whether my results could have got muddled up," said Mariappa.

"Maybe if I had been displaying any symptoms then it might have made sense. But in my head it wasn't adding up.

"But I've not had any symptoms and I've felt as fit as ever, probably fitter because I've been working really hard. I've been following my training programme and I've not felt out of breath or ill, or anything. We've been fully monitored the whole time and the club have been able to track our distances and things. I've been really excelling in all of that and feeling great.

"It's quite scary how you can feel absolutely fine and not really have left the house, and yet still get the virus. If it wasn't for the fact I had gone back to training and had this test, then I'd never have found out that I had the virus and I would just be getting on with things as normal.

"That's obviously quite a strange thought."

Other than isolating and trying to make sure he is in the best possible condition ahead of his next test, Mariappa's thoughts have now understandably turned to his family.

"I'll follow all the protocols and stay at home for seven days," said Mariappa. "I live with three of my children, who are five, nine and 11, and my partner and, obviously, now I'm a bit worried about them.

"They are all fine and are not showing any symptoms, but you can't help but think about it and keep your distance once you know you've tested positive.

"We'll have to see whether I can get them tested."

Revealed

The Premier League revealed on Tuesday that there had been six positive tests and it later emerged that three of those had come from Watford.

Mariappa is disappointed that the process resulted in a hunt for names.

"I'd have preferred if everything had been kept private," he said. "But once Watford's name came out then my phone went mad with people asking who it was, and I'm sure it was the same for all of the rest of the staff and players.

"For your family, you'd rather keep it to yourself, but, unfortunately, that hasn't been possible. It's disappointing that rumours started, but I will just get on with things now and follow the protocols."

Watford captain Troy Deeney has said he will not return to training, while there have been reports of other Watford players wanting to stay away.

Mariappa added: "I will just follow the protocols and each of the steps, and decide what is right for me each time. My focus now is just on isolating for seven days and hopefully testing negative next time." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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