NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez expects Asi Taulava to be rejuvenated when he rejoins the team in training camp in the last week of June ahead of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The evergreen stalwart has yet to show up in the second week of the Road Warriors camp after undergoing a minor operation to clean the ligaments in his knee that have constantly swelled due to wear and tear.
“Preventive lang para malinis namin yung mga ligaments,” Fernandez told SPIN.ph after practice on Monday at FCL gym in Xavierville. “Hindi naman (major) yun, pero for therapeutic purposes lang. The past two conferences, every time he plays, the following day namamaga yung tuhod, so nilinis na namin.”
Despite his condition, Taulava, the league’s oldest player at 43, was still healthy enough to amazingly lead all locals in rebounding in the Commissioner’s Cup with 9.7 a game.
Taulava has been undergoing therapy after the operation, even now while the 15-year veteran is in the US with his family.
And Fernandez is optimistic of seeing his prized ward to be fresh when he reports to practice two weeks from now, the same time American import Bill Walker is expected to arrive from vacation.
“We expect him to (be rejuvenated), but we’re not forcing him,” the NLEX coach said of the 15-year veteran. “Syempre, day to day pa rin siya. Titingnan namin pag balik niya kung okay siya.”
Fellow Road Warriors star Sean Anthony was also absent from practice as the Filipino-Canadian workhorse was in Canada to give a speech in his college, Mcgill.
Anthony, though, managed to squeeze in a five-day individual skills training before reporting back to NLEX practice later this week.