JAPETH Aguilar has been ruled out of Barangay Ginebra's do-or-die game against Talk 'N Text on Tuesday evening because of stinging pain in his knee that has set back his recovery from an MCL sprain.
The athletic big man has already been given a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in a bid to hasten his recovery, but his agent said the earliest he could return is the semifinals of the PBA Governors Cup - that is, if Ginebra can get that far.
Aguilar has expressed his frustration over the development, having set his sights on an early return. But information reached Spin.ph that famed orthopedic surgeon Jose Raul Canlas has yet to give him the go signal to return due to the lingering pain in his knee.
“Ayoko ng ganito. Nahihirapan ako panoorin yung team ko," said the newly acquired slotman on the eve of the Gin Kings' sudden-death match against the Texters for the eighth and last spot in the playoffs.
"Ang sakit sa pakiramdam nung alam ko na kailangan na ako ng teammates ko tapos andun ako sa bench naka civilian clothes,” added Aguilar in gloomy tone.
Aguilar has not touched a ball since suffering the MCL sprain after an awkward fall last August 30 but had hoped to return over the weekend. The lingering pain has set back his recovery.
“Sumasakit pa eh kaya bumagal ang recovery niya. Dapat ngayong weekend nakabalik nay an eh,” said his agent Marvin Espiritu.
“Masakit pa rin yung tuhod niya kaya hindi pa siya sinasalang sa mas mabibigat na rehab at strengthening. Wala pa nga siyang jumping at lateral eh,” said Espiritu.
To speed up his recovery, Espiritu said Aguilar has been given a shot of PRP - a new medical technology that was also given to Talk 'N Text star Jayson Castro when he suffered from a bad ankle sprain before Gilas Pilipinas' stint in the Fiba-Asia championships.
“Kaso hindi instant relief 'yun. Siguro bibilang ka pa ng atleast one week bago umepekto 'yun. Kaya kung tatanungin mo ko kung lalaro na si Japeth against TNT, malabo pa,” he said.
“Kung makakalaro siguro si Japeth, 'yan eh kung papalarin na pumasok sa semis ang Ginebra. 'Yun na ang pinakamaaga niyang balik,” added the son of well-known player agent Danny Espiritu.
For his part, Aguilar has vowed to keep himself focused on his recovery.
“Basta ako sisiguraduhin ko na munang maging 100 percent healthy ulit ako, para pagbalik ko higit pa sa bilang na yun ang maibibigay ko sa Ginebra at mga fans,” Aguilar said.
“Ayoko rin i-jeopardize baka lalo pa ko ma-injure. Hindi ko to pipilitin, babawi na lang ako sa rehab at recovery ko muna,” said the second-generation Ginebra cager.