Russel Escoto undergoing therapy for ACL injury, out for the rest of season
Russel Escoto is two weeks into therapy after knee surgery. Jaime Campos

THE process of rehabilitation has started for injured big man Russel Escoto, but the Mahindra rookie is definitely out for the rest of the PBA season as he will need at least six months to fully recover from the ACL injury he suffered during the last Philippine Cup.

Escoto started therapy two weeks ago to strengthen his recently operated knee. And the true pro that he is, the 24-year-old Gilas cadet showed up in the Floodbuster’s Commissioner’s Cup game against San Miguel at the Astrodome on Wednesday.

It was the first time he attended Mahindra’s game since going down with the ACL injury last January 27.

“Araw-araw ang therapy ako. Nagapapakita lang ako sa team, no activities,” he shared to SPIN.ph. “Talagang focus lang ako dito sa rehab, kung ano lang yung puwedeng gawin.”

Unfortunately, it would take some time before he really gets back into the court despite the two to three hours of therapy being done on him.

That the ACL operation is the second in his career further exacerbated his condition.

“Sabi ng doctor kasi six to eight months, pero gusto niya eight months kasi pangalawa ko na ito,” said Escoto.

The long stretch meant he won’t be playing again until December of this year, or perhaps January of 2018. It also ruled him out of playing for Gilas in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship next month and the FIBA Asia Cup this August in Beirut, Lebanon.

“Wala pati sa Gilas, sayang nga e,” he lamented. “Pero wala naman tayong magawa.”

But Escoto did reveal he already drove by his own on the way to the game.

“Halos ngayong araw lang ako nakapag-drive ng maayos,” he said. ”Puwede na kasi, nung nakaraan hindi ko talaga ma-bend.”

He’ll have to do it slowly but surely, though.

“May process talaga. Tiyaga lang, babalik din tayo.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos