Plymouth Argyle have had 'a considerable number' of players test positive for Covid but none of them have been taken seriously ill, manager Steven Schumacher has confirmed.
All of the Pilgrims' squad have been sent home for the rest of the week but those unaffected by the virus have been given fitness programmes to follow, but on grass areas and not in gyms.
Schumacher is hoping that training will resume either next Monday or Tuesday, depending on the Covid protocols, in advance of the FA Cup third round tie away to Birmingham City next Saturday, January 8.
The EFL have stated that clubs should fulfil fixtures as long as they have 14 players available, including a goalkeeper.
Argyle could not meet that requirement, due to the Covid cases as well as the international call-up for midfielder Panutche Camara by Guinea-Bissau and injuries to Kieran Agard, Jordon Garrick and George Cooper, as well as long-term absentee Brendan Galloway.
Camara would have missed the postponed League One game against Portsmouth at Home Park, which was scheduled for last night, after his selection by Guinea-Bissau for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
Argyle even recalled Finley Craske from his loan spell at Plymouth Parkway to try and make up the numbers but he had a hamstring issue.
The Covid outbreak at Home Park first began on Monday, the day after the 2-0 league win away to Cheltenham Town, when one player tested positive.
That was followed by further cases on Tuesday and, after consulting with the EFL and passing on the relevant medical information to them, the games against Portsmouth and AFC Wimbledon on New Year's Day were called off.
Schumacher said: "On the Monday we thought 'Well, okay, we have lost one, we will be fine'. Then on the Tuesday we lost more than one and we thought 'This is now getting an issue.'
"It just sort of snowballed. We put the names on the board and we had to recall a lad on loan (Craske) and he had a hamstring issue.
"It got to the point where we didn't have enough outfield players. We had the goalkeepers, which was fine, they are both good.
"We made the calls into the EFL. We had to submit everything to them to say what we have got, dates and times and whatever, and they said we hadn't got enough numbers so unfortunately we had to cancel (the two games)."
Defender Ollie Tomlinson was also recalled by Argyle from his loan spell at Truro City in the event that the Portsmouth and AFC Wimbledon fixtures had gone ahead.
"I don't know the ins and outs of the rules but we had to recall them (Craske and Tomlinson) to say that they were available, but one of them couldn't play anyway because he was hurt."
Schumacher has spoken to all of the Covid-affected players. "Some of them weren't even aware that they had anything.
"They are all good, thankfully. There is nothing too serious hopefully. The medical team and the doctors are in regular contact with them and making sure they are going through the protocols and the processes that they have to.
"That's the most important thing, that they are alright," added the Pilgrims' boss.
Schumacher was disappointed about the two postponements because Argyle had won their last two games, and kept clean sheets in both of them, so were in good form.
He did not believe, though, that throwing young players from the academy ranks to make up the numbers would have been appropriate.
Schumacher said: "We just felt if we were going to put out a team (against Portsmouth) with youth team players in it, and it's a sold out crowd, within five minutes everyone would have forgotten that it's a weakened team."
He added: "What are other teams doing? We have played 24 games in the season, more than anybody else. Pompey have just had the same issue and they have got a bigger squad than us.
"Yeah, you can probably get 13 outfield players but is it the right thing to do? I could bring the 15 and 16-year-old lads into the squad but is it to fair to them to ask them and go and play against Pompey?
"We followed the guidelines, we went with what we had to do and we made a decision we couldn't fulfil the fixture to a level that was fair."
No dates for the rearranged games against Portsmouth and AFC Wimbledon have been confirmed but they are likely to be sooner rather than later.
"I'm guessing they (the EFL) they will get it on as soon as possible whenever the fixture schedule will allow us," said Schumacher.
The Covid outbreak at Argyle has come less than a month after Schumacher became a manager for the first time after replacing
Ryan Lowe following his departure to Preston North End.
Schumacher said: "It's something that you have to adapt to and have to learn to deal with. It's frustrating. You get up of a morning and you have got your day planned and then the next minute it has sort of taken a U-turn and you are going somewhere else.
"That's what we are living with at the moment. There is no point moaning about it. We have just got to get on with it and get to work where you can.
"I'm sitting at home now, I have got a few meetings planned today and a few phone calls, and work to do on Birmingham so it never stops, even you are not in the building, work carries on."