SAO PAULO – A Brazilian soccer team is locking up one of their star players in his hotel room to make sure he gets back in shape.
Corinthians said Wednesday that Adriano, a striker on the team, will have to stay inside the hotel at the team's headquarters at least through the weekend, eating only what doctors give him and practicing three times a day.
Corinthians physical trainer Fabio Mahseredjian said the "more drastic" decision to lock Adriano up was made because the team feels he won't improve his condition unless he stops eating excessively.
"We locked him here because this way we can have more control of what he eats, of how he rests," Mahseredjian said. "You can only lose weight if you stop eating."
Mahseredjian said a team nutritionist has prepared a specific diet for the 29-year-old. He will be receiving a pre-prepared plate of food separately from the other players, and especially picked snacks will be delivered to his room at predetermined times.
"We are doing everything we can to give him a chance to get better," Corinthians coach Tite said. "We want what is best for him and what is best for us."
Adriano has played sparingly since recovering from surgery on his Achilles tendon last year and is in danger of not being included in the team's Copa Libertadores roster.
The surgery was in April and Adriano only returned to action at the end of the year, visibly out of shape. He came off the bench to score a crucial winner for Corinthians in the final rounds of the Brazilian league, helping the team get in position to eventually win the title last year. He is yet to play in the 2012 Sao Paulo state championship.
Mahseredjian said Adriano has reacted well to his confinement.
"He knows we are trying to do what's best for him," he said. "But he also needs to do his part. He needs to know that the older you get, the harder it is (to remain in shape).
Adriano made many headlines for off-the-field problems in recent years, including his involvement in a minor car accident, a public altercation with a girlfriend and a police investigation for alleged ties with drug lords in the shantytowns where he grew up — although he was never charged.
More recently, a woman riding in Adriano's car accused the player of shooting her in the hand, but she later retracted and said the weapon went off accidentally when she was holding it.
Adriano quit Inter Milan in 2009, saying he was not happy in Italy and wanted to be closer to his friends. He missed several practices with Flamengo in 2010, prompting a team director to publicly say that the player had a drinking problem.
Mahseredjian said he "obviously" also asked Adriano to stay away from alcohol as he tries to return to form.
Adriano played in the 2006 World Cup but missed the tournament in South Africa despite leading Flamengo to the national title the previous year. He played for AS Roma before being signed by Corinthians.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press