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Sidney Rice hopes more muscle means fewer injuries


Sidney Rice, who’s recovering from offseason surgeries on each shoulder, hopes to be ready by training camp. (AP)

By Brady Henderson

Sidney Rice wants to return to full speed by training camp after having offseason surgeries on each shoulder, and the oft-injured receiver says he’s added some bulk with the hopes of improving his durability.

“I actually gained 11 pounds of muscle,” Rice told “Bob and Groz” during the team’s minicamp last week. “I’m really happy about that. I’m planning on putting on about seven more pounds to make coach [Tom] Cable happy.”

Rice said he’s up to 209 pounds after weighing 198 following his surgeries. He wants to be 212 or 213 pounds by the start of the season, accounting for the weight he typically loses during training camp. That won’t turn Rice into Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or any of the NFL’s other mammoth receivers, but it’s a step he apparently feels is necessary after missing 23 games during his five-year career.

“I feel like that’s the right thing to do as well so I can take the pounds, the hits across the middle and things like that,” he said, “whatever I have to do for this team.”

The Seahawks gave Rice a five-year, $41 million contract last summer, apparently comfortable enough with his recovery from a hip injury that sidelined him for much of the 2010 season and required offseason surgery. Rice’s hip seemed to hold up fine, but other issues led to another shortened season. He missed the first two games after injuring the labrum in his right shoulder then dealt with knee problems before a pair of concussions landed him on injured reserve in late November.

In between, he caught 32 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns in nine games.

While dealing with Rice’s right shoulder injury, which occurred during training camp, doctors discovered that an earlier injury to his left shoulder was more severe than the team initially thought. It was a full tear, requiring surgery.

Rice is now six months removed from surgery on his right shoulder, which he underwent about a month and a half before he had the operation on his left shoulder. He was limited during last week’s minicamp as he still wasn’t cleared for contact.

“It should be 100 percent. Everything should go back to normal,” he said of the health of his shoulders. “The most important thing right now is getting my motion back and my strength. And I feel like with my motion I’m already at that point, so right now it’s just getting the strength back.”

Rice said he plans “to be ready [by] training camp. If not, definitely before the first game.”

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