Bright Akhuetie explosive in return from knee injury despite playing at '40 percent'
Bright Akhuetie was able to play, and post big numbers for Perpetual, thanks to his knee brace. Dante Peralta

BRIGHT Akhuetie bared he has yet to fully recover from the injured knee left him sidelined for Perpetual Help's NCAA Season 92 opener, even as he seemed back to his usual self against Jose Rizal University on Friday.

Akhuetie said he sprained his right knee a week before the opening of the season, prompting him to miss the Altas’ debut against Arellano last Sunday. He added he wasn’t even supposed to play on Friday.

“I wasn’t supposed to play but I tried this on,” Akhuetie said, pointing towards a knee support he wore for the game, “and I felt better.”

Akhuetie took over for the Altas, finishing with 19 points and eight rebounds in the Altas’ 58-50 win over Jose Rizal University. Not bad for a guy who was only 40 percent healthy, he claimed.

“I’m like 40 percent,” he said. “I just came out to play as always. It’s tsamba.”

Perpetual Help coach Jimwell Gican lauded the efforts of Akhuetie to play even though he is hurt as the Altas don’t want to go down 0-2 early in the season entering the break for the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

“Talagang finorce namin siya na makabalik. Alam naman natin na lumiliit kami. Kailangan namin ng serbisyo niya ngayon, awa ni Lord, nakabalik at naglaro, best player pa,” said Gican.

As to his injury status, Akhuetie said he is still unsure when he will be a hundred percent healthy.

“That’s something that I still don’t know because I have to work out on the knee and put pressure on it. I think it’s going to take a while before I’ll be okay,” Akhuetie said.

Gican welcomed the long break as the Altas return to action against San Sebastian on July 14.

“Buti nga break kasi kumbaga sinakal kami, at least makakahinga na kami,” said Gican, who also said they still have injuries to Flash Sadiwa and Jonathan Yuhico.

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