THE injury bug continues to hound Meralco.
Two games after the return of Fil-Am forward Cliff Hodge from a six-game absence and the day veteran Danny Ildefonso was signed to a contract, it was veteran guard Mike Cortez's turn to go down with an injury.
The veteran, well-travelled guard out of De La Salle underwent an MRI (magnetic resonance imagine) just before New Year's Day and results showed he tore the meniscus in his right knee.
“It was a game against Globalport last December 6 that I had the injury. So I was playing through pain, taking anti-inflammatory and pain reliever,” the Meralco ace playmaker confided to Spin.ph on Friday.
They Said It!
“We were able to control the swelling with ice and some exercises but I guess after five games, (my right knee) just finally gave out on me." - Meralco Bolts point guard Mike Cortez
Cortez said he'll be conferring with team doctors though most likely, he'll be out for the remainder of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup since he might also have to undergo surgery.
The 6-foot guard managed to play the team's last five games for 2013, but was obviously bothered by the lingering pain on his right knee.
“We were able to control the swelling with ice and some exercises but I guess after five games, it just finally gave out on me,” said Cortez, who expects to be sidelined for at least eight weeks after surgery.
Meralco ended the year just passed with four straight defeats, including a painful 82-83 loss to Barangay Ginebra behind Japeth Aguilar's game-clinching three-point shot at the buzzer that completed an improbable comeback by the Kings from a six-point deficit with one minute to play.
“I think everyone is still upbeat. Someone's always ready to step up and that gives more time to Chris Timberlake and Anjo (Caram), while we'll see the versatility of JD (Jared Dillinger) at the point (guard spot),” explained the former top rookie pick overall.