CARL Bryan Cruz took advantage of the long break to make himself fit and ready for the next PBA season.
The Blackwater big man underwent surgery for a torn meniscus just before the Christmas break and expects to miss the early part of the season-opening Philippine Cup.
Cruz said the four-month lull for the Elite in between their last outing in November to the All-Filipino Cup opener on March 3 made him decide that now is the right time to go under the knife.
“Ang haba kasi ng break so nag-decide na kaming ngayon na mag-surgery. Actually parang nilinis lang naman siya,” said Cruz, who was seen in crutches when he attended the recent Christmas party of the Blackwater franchise.
As per his timetable, the former Gilas cadet said he’ll likely return to action by April.
“Mami-miss ko yung first month ng Philippine Cup. Mga April na ako makakalaro,” he said.
He won't have a hard time adjusting to the Blackwater system upon his return though, as new coach Nash Racela will now call the shots for the Elite, Cruz’s former mentor while still with Far Eastern University.
At the moment, Cruz is undergoing rehabilitation at Metafactor Wellness and did his first Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) procedure two weeks ago.
He will have his second PRP by next year to address his knee cartilage defect, according to the team.
Cruz was acquired by the Elite prior to the Governors Cup in a one-on-one trade with Alaska for rookie big man Abu Tratter.
He averaged 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in his first conference with Blackwater.