Former Portsmouth, Birmingham, Oxford and Bradford striker remains absent from Notts County games amid Covid safety concerns
Former Pompey forward Wes Thomas is refusing to train with current club Notts County amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, the 33-year-old striker has not featured for the Magpies since the start of November and was again absent on Saturday as Neal Ardley’s side beat Stockport County in the FA Trophy.
The manager confirmed last week that the striker’s prolonged absence is down to safety fears.
Thomas was among a number of players at Meadow Lane who contracted the virus back in October, forcing the National League side to postpone games.
He returned for the 1-0 defeat at Aldershot on November 7, making his fourth appearance of the season.
But he hasn’t featured in the 10 games since and is currently following a bespoke fitness programme until he decides to return.
Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Ardley said: ‘Wes has come into see us because he has concerns over Covid.
‘He has refused to train with the group amid safety fears at the moment.
‘He has come to see us and tell us that he does not feel comfortable.
‘As a club we need to look carefully at doing the right thing given the pandemic is bigger than all of us.
‘We have accepted his request, and are looking out for him and his concerns.
‘We have put a bespoke programme together to keep him away from the group for the time being until things do get a bit safer and he feels like he can join back in with the group.
‘It’s unfortunate but you have to respect his feelings about it and that’s what we are doing as a club.’
Thomas made seven loan appearances for Pompey during the 2012-13 season, scoring three goals, before being recalled by Bournemouth.
He’s played for eight different clubs since his Fratton Park spell, but Ardley is unsure when he’ll be in a position to add to his 42 appearances for the Magpies.
The Notts County boss added: ‘It’s going to be personal thing for Wes in respect of as and when he feels safe.
‘We will do the right thing by Wes which is important and we will make sure we look after his safety and that of his family.
‘We will keep him ticking over and hopefully he will come back into the fold when the time is right.’
Last season, Jack Whatmough opted to stay away from Pompey group training sessions and missed the Blues’ play-off double-header with Oxford as he put the health and well being of his young family first.
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