AJ Edu will see his Gilas Pilipinas Youth teammates for the last time on Tuesday in the FIBA U19 World Cup before returning to the US to prepare for an immediate operation of his knee injury.
Edu, 19, will leave Heraklion, Greece early Wednesday morning, giving him time to watch the Filipinos’ final preliminary game in Group C against Russia.
Edu is heading back to Ohio to undergo surgery after badly hurting his knee during the Filipinos’ opening day game against Greece.
As per the official findings, the Cyprus-born Filipino suffered an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and meniscal tear on his right knee, with a hairline fracture on his right femur bone.
Edu’s coach at University of Toledo, Tod Kowalczyk, who arrived in Greece to watch Edu play in the world meet, will accompany him on his way back to the U.S.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) had Edu’s plane ticket rebooked so he can travel with Kowalczyk on the way back to America.
Upon arrival in Ohio, Edu will be checked and evaluated by the university’s team of doctors and will immediately be scheduled for surgery.
Edu is covered by the university’s insurance, which will take care of all his needs during and after operation.
The only down side of it is the possibility of Edu skipping the entire NCAA season as he recovers from the injury.
The 6-foot-10 Edu is coming off an impressive season in which he was selected as part of the All-Freshmen team in the Mid-American Conference, where he emerged as the top shot blocker of the tournament.
At the same time, the SBP has also assured Edu of its full support.
“We will help him with whatever he needs,” said SBP president Al Panlilio in a statement. “This is a journey together. We will be with you. Walang iwanan. Just focus on recovery now."