THE injury bug caught up anew with Barangay Ginebra.
Back up big man Jervy Cruz is set to go under the knife to remove bone spurs on his foot and is likely be out for the entire PBA Governors Cup that starts on Friday.
Cruz is expected to sit out for three months following the operation and depending on his recovery, risks skip the season-ending meet where the Kings are the back-to-back defending champions.
Coach Tim Cone is actually managing expectations on the return of the 31-year-old Cruz, a former UAAP MVP from University of Santo Tomas, that he’d rather see him come back in top condition for the Philippine Cup next season.
“He could be out three months. Hopefully, get him ready for the All-Filipino,” said Cone.
Cruz now joins injured teammates Art Dela Cruz and rookie Julian Sargent in the sidelines. Dela Cruz is still recuperating from a rupture on his Achilles tendon, while Sargent has yet to play in a Ginebra uniform since being acquired by the team in a trade with Globalport due to a shoulder injury.
The 6-foot-4 Cruz, a native of Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, has been a valuable off-the-bench big man for Cone especially during the Kings’ two straight Governors' Cup championships.
But his hurting foot had kept him from playing full strength in the last Commissioner’s Cup, which the Kings ruled at the expense of dethroned champion San Miguel Beermen.
In the best-of-seven Finals, Cruz only played in four games averaging 5.8 minutes of play, 1.0 points, and 1.5 rebounds. He didn’t so action in the Kings’ 93-77 title-clinching win in Game 6.
“Yes, he has battled it for over a year now,” said Cone when asked if the foot bothered Cruz during the mid-season conference campaign.