Usually at this point in the offseason, pro tennis player Melanie Oudin is putting in at least six hours a day of court time and fitness work.
Right now, as the 2009 U.S. Open quarterfinalist recovers from a muscle-damaging condition she says caused her arms to swell "like balloons," Oudin is under doctor's orders to limit herself to one hour a day of running. Nothing more: no racket-swinging, and definitely no weightlifting.
The 22-year-old American is not sure when she will be back playing tennis and might not be on tour by next month's Australian Open. She knows she will need to skip the tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, that begins Dec. 30.
"My arms are so weak. I can barely carry anything. I have no strength at all," Oudin said Thursday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "My muscles are completely ruptured in both arms. The good thing, though, is no other part of my body is affected."
She said she was diagnosed two weeks ago with rhabdomyolysis (rab-doe-my-OL-uh-sis), which may be caused by intense exertion and can lead to kidney damage. Oudin wants other athletes to know about what happened to her so "they'll be really careful about overtraining."
Oudin, who is from Marietta, Ga., and now is based in Boca Raton, Fla., traces the problem to a particularly vigorous weights session 2½ weeks ago.