Stade Francais says rugby players have lung lesions caused by COVID-19

Stade Francais announced in a statement that some of its players who have had COVID-19 have suffered lung damage due to the virus. Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

French Top 14 club Stade Francais has cancelled a preseason match because some players have developed lesions on their lungs after contracting COVID-19 and need an extra week to recuperate.

The Paris-based club was scheduled to play Toulon next Thursday in preparation for its opening fixture of the 2020-21 Top 14 season against Bordeaux Begles in the French capital on Sept. 4.

"In light of the mandatory medical examinations for all players who have tested positive for... COVID-19, it appears that some of them have suffered lung damage due to the virus," the club said in a statement on Wednesday.

"These lesions require a period of complete rest estimated... at a minimum of one week and which will be added to the 14 [days] already observed. Other reviews are currently under way."

Stade Francais officials said earlier this month that the health situation at the club had deteriorated to the extent that the whole squad was be placed in isolation until at least Aug. 17.

The 2019-20 Top 14 season was suspended in April because of the coronavirus pandemic, and officially abandoned with no champions named in early June.