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Weight gain an offseason hazard for Wayne Rooney
Guardian, September 5th, 2012 11:44PM

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Not all professional athletes come to preseason training in good shape. Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, who has been occasionally bothered by fitness issues during his career, admits in a book that he once reported to preseason training seven pounds overweight.

In the book, "My Decade in the Premier League," Rooney writes about the summer of 2009: "Early July: the first day back at pre-season training. I'm like most blokes, I put on a few pounds after a holiday. Even if I don't train for a week, I put on two or three, but when I get back to Carrington for the first day of work, I'm in for a shock. The scales in the club gym tell me I've put on a few more pounds than expected – seven. Seven!

"Then I remember – I drank a few bevvies while I was away. I'm stocky. I'm not like Ryan Giggs, all bone and lean muscle. But I gain weight quite easily. It's not a problem though. It's not as if the manager is leaning over my shoulder as the numbers come in, tutting and making jokes about me eating too many chip butties. Besides, I know I can shift it in a week or two. ... If I go abroad I like to get into the hotel gym three times a week to work on the treadmill and do some weight work. That way I can be sharp when we get back to training and the running will feel easier when the preseason games start. But coming back for preseason after a few bevvies and a few weeks away from a ball is physically tough."

Man United Coach Alex Ferguson left Rooney out of the starting lineup for last week's game against Fulham, and after entering as a sub he suffered a gashed leg that necessitated he leave the field on a stretcher. He is expected to be out up to four weeks.

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