ALASKA officials have confirmed that Calvin Abueva has a slight tear on the MCL in his left knee which could complicate efforts to draft him for the Gilas Pilipinas pool that is set to begin its final buildup for the Fiba-Asia Men's Basketball Championship in August.
Alaska coach Luigi Trillo bared on Thursday that Abueva has long been bothered by a tear on his left MCL and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) done on the knee three weeks ago revealed a floating bone spur in the tissue.
“We had an MRI, tear but not a partial tear, enough to play. May nag-fo-float na bone spur,” said Trillo. “Masakit yun.”
The newly crowned PBA champion coach also revealed that surgery on Abueva’s knee has been planned long before Gilas coach Chot Reyes tinkered with the possibility of including the Alaska freshman sensation in the national team pool.
Still, Trillo said Alaska is willing to release Abueva to the Gilas pool, so long as they can sit down with the national team staff and try to work around the problem.
Trillo said knee surgery may sideline Abueva from two to three weeks.
“OK naman ipahiram si Calvin, kaso we have to meet with them (Gilas). We have to plan how the operation will be done,” said the youthful Alaska coach.
“They have to plan a meeting, on how Calvin can undergo surgery. When is the best time to put everything in?” added Trillo. “What is best for everything?”
The soft-spoken coach revealed that the Aces are waiting for Gilas to set a date for their meeting, which they reckon should also include Alaska’s team doctor.
Trillo also bared that Abueva was supposed to join Sonny Thoss and Gabby Espinas in the trip to Beijing, where they will undergo an alternative form of treatment for their injuries.
On the other hand, Abueva’s manager, lawyer Charlie Chua, told Spin.ph that his ward is raring to wear the national tri-colors and is willing to play through the injury for the sake of flag and country.
“Tinanong ko siya, sabi ko: ‘Kaya mo ba Calvin?’ Sumagot siya: ‘Kaya ko po. Masakit po yung tuhod ko pero titiisin ko para sa bansa.’ Yun ang sagot niya,” said the team manager of PBA D-League team EA Regen.
But like Trillo, Chua wants to know how an operation can be made, especially since the injury may pose greater threat to Abueva’s career in the long run.
“Basta ang amin dito, kung gusto siya ng Gilas, sabihin na nila. Kausapin kami lalo na ang Alaska,” said Chua. “Kailangan kasing ma-isingit ang operasyon niya.”
“Kung gagawin lang siyang practice player, siguro mas mabuti na ipa-opera na lang si Calvin. Pero kung gusto nilang subukan kung bagay sa Gilas, subukan na nila bago umalis ng Lithuania.
“Tinitiyak ko. Gustong-gustong pumunta sa Gilas practice ni Calvin.”