Boxed in: Wood relieved to be back after ruptured testicle but not so happy about his extra protection
Ian Laybourn, Press Association
17:07 GMT, 8 January 2013
18:10 GMT, 8 January 2013
Warrington forward Paul Wood, who played on in the Grand Final with a ruptured testicle, has decided to take further precaution this season by wearing a box.
Wood was dubbed the toughest athlete in the world after the incident and was back in training within a week of surgery.
He cannot wait to play again and said: 'I had a box fitted but whether I play in it all year I don’t know.
Hard nut: Paul Wood carried on playing in the Grand Final against Leeds after rupturing a testicle
'I’ve tried it out. I prefer not to
play in it but, once I get a bit of confidence, I’ll probably take it
off, especially when it gets warm.'
Warrington head to Tenerife next
week for a warm-weather training camp ahead of their opening Super League match
against Castleford on February 3.
'It will be good to get back on the
field and get some normality back,' he added. 'It’s good when you’ve got
something to focus on throughout the week. You’re a bit lost without
'Once the season is finished you’re
glad because you can get over your aches and pains but once you’ve had a
couple of weeks off you’re ready to get back into it.
'I can’t wait for the season to
start. I’m out of contract this year and I’d like to sign another
extension and finish my career at Warrington.
'It’s going to be a big year for me. I need to have the best year I’ve had.'
Wood has also had to endure shocking revelations about his personal life since getting injured.
He opened up about his obsessive compulsive disorder in the build-up to the Challenge Cup final last summer.
Lovers: Wood has found stardom, and with it a new celebrity girlfriend in Holly Henderson
And the 31-year-old prop hit the headlines last week when he was alleged to have left his wife Shelley and two young children to move in with local celebrity Holly Henderson, who used to date Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.
Wood might have been forgiven for keeping a low profile at Warrington's pre-season media day but he was happy to fulfil his duties at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
'I thought I’d face the music,' he said. 'I’ve nothing to hide.
'There’s been some truth in the papers and there’s been some lies as well but I’m not going to broadcast my personal life. I’ll leave it as it is.
'The people who are close to me know exactly what’s gone on and they’re the people that count.'
Wood was a little more forthcoming over the injury that brought him worldwide fame.
The tough-tackling forward played on for 20 minutes after accidentally being kneed in the groin by Leeds centre Kallum Watkins at the start of the second half of the Grand Final.
He made no mention of the injury in post-match interviews but was subsequently taken to hospital for surgery to have the testicle removed and later made light of his misfortune, tweeting: 'Just coming out of hospital to go home … Seriously feel like I’ve left something'.
Strongman: Wood (left tackler) has always been known as a no-nonsense player
The tweet soon went viral and, for the first time in a 13-year career at the highest level of domestic rugby league, Wood was a man in demand.
'The reaction was absolutely unbelievable – everyone wanted to talk to me,' he said.
'The weirdest thing was seeing my story come up as a question on The Million Pound Drop with Davina McCall.
'It was good for rugby league. It’s probably had more coverage than anything else over the last few years.
'Someone told me I was among the five best sporting moments of the year in a magazine so again it’s just good for rugby league, that people appreciate how hard the game is.'