Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has instructed his squad to switch off for a few weeks in what the club are classing as a close season.
The Dons have not played for two months and McInnes does not want to risk over-training the players who are working at home during the football lockdown.
Scottish football has been suspended at all levels since March 13 and Aberdeen’s last action was a 3-1 defeat of Hibs at Pittodrie on March 7.
Dons players had been working to training programmes individually while adhering to the government’s social distancing policies.
However, with no games on the horizon McInnes eased off the intensity of sessions amid concerns training hard with no matches could be detrimental.
Completing the campaign, even behind closed doors, is looking increasingly unlikely due to the multiple factors involved.
Dons chairman Dave Cormack recently admitted the focus could shift from trying to find a way to complete 2019-20 on to finding a plan to start 2020-21 as early and safely as possible.
With no outlet of matches on the horizon, McInnes does not want to risk over-training players.
After this short “close season”, McInnes and his staff will assess the “landscape” and see if there has been any progress on when training as a team, or in groups, can possibly resume.
McInnes said: “Uncertainty isn’t good for anybody but from our point of view and the players we have just got to keep being as professional as we can be.
“We are now treating this as if it was a close season and I have asked the players to switch themselves off for a couple of weeks from doing their work.
“We have to be mindful of not over-training them so we have given them a close-season programme. That is based around the fact we were just training for training’s sake.
“Sometimes that can be detrimental so we asked them to shut down for two to three weeks.
“We are not on their case every day like we had been, but we have asked the players to keep themselves fit.
“We don’t know when we will be back training, whether that is in groups or all together.”
A number of European nations are edging closer to a return with Italian Serie A side Sassuolo opening their training ground to players earlier this week while observing social distancing. The rest of the Italian top flight are expected to return on May 18 with a June return targeted.
Some German Bundesliga teams have returned to training and Chancellor Angela Merkel and the regional state premiers were today set to meet to discuss lockdown measures that will impact football’s return.
English Premier League sides Arsenal, Brighton, West Ham and Spurs all returned to individual training last week at their training grounds, albeit with strict social distancing measures.
The English top-flight’s Project Restart aims to have a return to organised group training in mid May before a June 8 restart.
Scottish Sports Minister Joe Fitzpatrick met with the SFA and SPFL yesterday and other sporting bodies to discuss phasing back sport.
After the meeting, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster admitted it looks to be “some while away” before matches resume in Scotland, adding that the game will remain “in grave peril” until it is possible to play games in front of crowds.
UEFA have given member nations a deadline of May 25 to propose a plan for completing the 2019-20 top-flight seasons.
Paul Third questions the sporting integrity of restarting football in Scotland with different rules on our Northern Goal podcast:
McInnes said: “We have given players guidance in terms of what they would normally do with a pre-season programme.
“Myself, the staff and the players will pick up on that again in a week or two when hopefully we will see if there is to be a return to normality.
“When we see what the landscape is like and if there has been any progression. Then we will try to make a call from there.”