BIG man Japeth Aguilar’s health condition remains a big question mark as Barangay Ginebra makes a last-minute push for a playoff berth in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The 34-year-old Aguilar sustained a sprained MCL in his left leg that kept him out of the defending champion’s 94-87 comeback win over Phoenix Fuel Masters on Wednesday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.
Coach Tim Cone said prognosis on the injury is that it will take two to three weeks before Aguilar can be in top shape.
At the moment, Aguilar is listed as day-to-day with still two games left in the Kings’ elimination round campaign.
Good news, bad news
“The good news is that he has no tear in the MCL. So it’s really a sprain, and that could take up two to three weeks of repair to get back,” said Cone during the post-game presser.
“We were so short in here, and three weeks is like the whole conference,” he added, noting the playoffs could start late next week. “So I don’t know when he’ll be back at this point. It’s kind of day to day, but were hoping he can get back at some point.”
Cone describes the injury similar to a sprained ankle.
“It’s like a sprained ankle. You can play a sprained ankle, but it’s very painful. It’s swollen, it’s hard to jump,” he said.
“It’s the same thing with his knee, with the MCL. It really depends on how strong his knee feels.”
Aguilar was in Ginebra uniform against Phoenix, but wore a protective brace on the injured left knee.
The Kings obviously missed Aguilar’s inside presence and trailed the Fuel Masters by as many as 19 points early on.
But in typical Ginebra fashion, the team clawed its way back from a deep hole, before LA Tenorio and Stanley Pringle took charge in the stretch run to snap the Kings’ two-game slide, improve to 4-5 overall, and get back in the running for a quarterfinals berth.
“We did it despite the absence of Japeth, so that made it much sweeter,” said Cone of the come-from-behind victory.
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