SAN Mig superstar James Yap is gallantly playing on despite a nagging elbow injury, but doubts persist on whether the injured gunner may be hurting the Mixers' cause than actually helping the team.
Yap thinks otherwise.
The two-time PBA MVP admits the pain in his right elbow isn’t going away anytime soon, but he remains confident that he can still contribute in salvaging the Mixers’ faltering start for the season.
“Same, same, masakit pa rin, kasi matagal daw talaga ito,” Yap told Spin.ph, referring to tendinitis in his right elbow that has forced him to miss two of the team’s first six games this season.
“Pero nabo-bore ako pag di rin naglalaro, siyempre, sanay tayo na naglalaro sa loob.”
Yap returned from a two-game absence last week to score 14 points, but he went just 6-of-23 from the field as San Mig threw away an 18-point lead en route to a 64-72 loss to the short-handed Meralco Bolts.
The former University of the East star is averaging a career-low 11.5 points on a cold 29 percent shooting from the field, though he manages to compensate for it with a career-best 5.7 rebounds per game.
No wonder there are those who feel that Yap may help the team more by waiting until he is fully healthy before seeing action, more so since doctors advice that such an injury will only heal with full rest.
The pride of Escalante, Negros Occidental admits he had to leave practice last week when he began feeling sharp pain on his elbow again.
But just as he has done in the past, Yap said he’s willing to play through the pain. “May movement talaga na masakit, lalo na kung nagre-rebound ako or sumasalo ng bola, pero tuloy lang ang therapy,” he said.
However, San Mig may ill afford to be without its top offensive threat now that it is just one rung above the cellar with a 1-5 (win-loss) record, just half-a-game better than the woeful Air21 Express.
Incidentally, Air21 was the only team San Mig has beaten this season via a 92-83 double-overtime win on December 1.
San Mig may have a better idea on whether Yap's decision to play on is counter-productive or not on Tuesday when it clashes with the skidding Barako Bull at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.