THE return to active duty of young forward Art dela Cruz for Barangay Ginebra will have to wait a while longer.
The 25-year-old forward, acquired by Ginebra from Blackwater in a trade with Chris Ellis, again suffered a rupture on the same Achilles tendon he injured while training with Gilas Pilipinas last March.
The former San Beda star was still recuperating from the injury when disaster struck anew on Thursday while he was practicing with the Kings.
Danny Espiritu, who represents Dela Cruz, confirmed the bad news to SPIN.ph on Friday.
"Sinabihan ko na kasi siya kung may nararamdaman pa siya, huwag niya munang pilitin," Espiritu said. "Baka mamaya hindi pa fully healed tapos pinilit niya na."
'Dapat he should be honest sa team kung may nararamdaman pa siya. Kasi siya naman nakakaalam niyan, siya nakakaramdam niyan, hindi yung team."
No advice has yet been given on the next course of action on Dela Cruz, although it is certain the third-year forward will miss the early part of the new PBA season that starts on Sunday.
"Malamang 'yun," said Espiritu.
Dela Cruz missed majority of last season after he suffered the injury on the first day of training with the national team as it prepares for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship.
Barangay Ginebra just inked him to a fresh, two-year deal just before he re-injured his Achilles.