Adriano to keep playing, returns to training

Associated Press Modified: October 2, 2012 at 9:33 am •  Published: October 2, 2012
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SAO PAULO (AP) — Former Brazil striker Adriano has returned to training with Flamengo.

The 30-year-old Adriano showed up at the club and joined his teammates on Tuesday, a day after he received his third warning for missing a training session and said he had doubts about whether he wanted to keep playing football professionally.

There was speculation Adriano might announce his retirement on Tuesday, but he talked to relatives and close friends overnight and decided that he will give another shot at his career.

Flamengo said it accepted the player's return after he said he will comply with the team's conditions, including one that requires him to receive psychological treatment. The club said Adriano will only receive his full salary if he stays on track from now on.

He arrived on Tuesday and went straight to work on his physical conditioning. Adriano hasn't played in more than six months because of surgery on his left Achilles. The club expected him to start practicing with the rest of the players on Monday, but the missed training on Saturday and his indecision about keep playing changed the timetable on his return.

Flamengo club director Zinho said that Adriano will not get back on the field until the club feels he is ready physically and mentally. The official, a former Flamengo and Brazil player, had said Monday that he had concerns about what could happen to Adriano if he had decided to stop playing.

The talented striker's career has been marked by off-the-field problems and he made headlines in the past for an alleged drinking problem revealed by a club director, a public altercation with a girlfriend and a police investigation for alleged ties to drug lords in the shantytown where he grew up — although he was never charged.