Lawrence feels good as he returns to training

Wales defender James Lawrence admits he feels “quite comfortable” with restrictions put in place as German teams return to training during the coronavirus lockdown.

Lawrence is currently on loan at Bundesliga.2 side St Pauli from Anderlecht and has been training in small groups for more than a week as Germany aim to get their domestic campaign back on track.

The 27-year-old, who has six caps for Wales, has spoken about his experiences of returning to the training ground during the pandemic.

He told talkSPORT: “I think under the guidelines of the association and government – they have put a lot of rules into place that we have to abide in order to train.

“I think they are taking the necessary precautions but it has allowed us to get back into training in a way that is manageable.

“We are in only groups of five, maximum of six players, one coach per team, one physio per team and a performance coach.

“The staff aren’t allowed to mix with each other, the players aren’t allowed to mix with each other so the groups are kept completely separate.

“We have different training times staggered throughout the day so that the groups can’t run into each other.

“With the rules that they have put in place, it has allowed us to feel quite comfortable actually in doing that so we don’t feel like we are at risk at the moment.”

Lawrence admitted that none of the Hamburg-based St Pauli team had been tested for Covid-19 ahead of their return to training, with plans in place for Bundesliga matches to start up again in May.

“We are filling in daily forms, taking daily temperatures and all the necessary things and all of that information is going to the league,” he added.

Lawrence, left, hopes to make Wales' squad for next year's European Championships
Lawrence, left, hopes to make Wales’ squad for next year’s European Championships (Adam Davy/PA)

“We haven’t had the test before going back to training. We have only been monitoring the symptoms and all that sort of stuff with the players.

“No one in the team has shown symptoms, we haven’t been in contact with anyone who has, so we have done everything we can to minimise those risks.”

Lawrence had knee surgery before Christmas and was on his way back to full fitness before global sport was halted by the outbreak, including the postponement of Euro 2020 for a year, which could boost his chances of making Ryan Giggs’ side next summer.

He said: “I was fully fit just before we had to go into isolation and played my first 45 minutes. It was quite a frustrating time because I just came back from an operation.

Welcome back to the squad, James #Lawrence!

The central defender made his last appearance at Regensburg on 8 December 2019.#fcsposn | #fcsppic.twitter.com/Gm4XKbJP5s

— FC St. Pauli English (@fcstpauli_EN) March 1, 2020

“I’m feeling really good now and it has given me time to fully recover and get everything in completely in order instead of rushing back for games.

“It means that I can possibly get a full season behind me before going into the Euros, whereas now we only have nine games left to play – so it would have been a shorter time period.

“But (that’s) not to say it is an advantage or disadvantage because you never really know what can happen next season – but it gives me that longer time to adjust and get really in the rhythm.”

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