HIS worst fears have come true.
Although cleared of Iliotibial band strain, Allein Maliksi is still being observed for a sprained left medial collateral ligament (MCL), an injury that will require him to rest for at least the next four weeks.
The injury definitely will keep him out of Sunday’s Game One of the PBA Governors Cup semifinals series between San Mig Coffee and Meralco.
“Yung initial assessment namin kagabi, mukhang contusion lang. Pero nung nakita ng doktor niya `yung extent ng injury, nakita na mukhang MCL,” said a San Mig Coffee insider.
“Kailangan niya talaga sumalang sa MRI scan bukas kay Dr. George (Raul) Canlas.”
The 26-year-old guard from Kalookan City did not join the Mixers’ Saturday afternoon practice. Maliksi, however, doubts if he can still play this season owing to the injury.
"Hindi talaga kayang mag-practice. Out na ko for this conference," he told Spin.ph.
The San Mig medical staff hopes to get a clearer picture after the MRI scan.
“Ma-ve-verify `yung injury niya bukas (Sunday) sa MRI, pero most probably hindi siya lalaro bukas,” added the same San Mig insider.
“Naglalakad naman siya. Kaya lang mahina `yung kaliwang tuhod niya,” said the same source who bared Maliksi already has a history of ACL injury suffered on his other knee while still playing for University of Santo Tomas in college.
Maliksi hurt his knee during San Mig Coffee’s do-or-die game against Alaska Friday night for the last semifinals berth. He fell badly to the floor after being fouled by Aces big man Sonny Thoss while going for the basket.
The former PBA D-League MVP was acquired by San Mig last August 16 from Barako Bull in a trade deal. He is currently one of the team’s most consistent players by averaging 11.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 22.3 minutes of action.
Despite the absence of Maliksi, Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio doesn’t see the Bolts gaining any advantage against the Mixers.
“They (Mixers) are strong with a complete roster, but they are not going to be weakened by one player out, the way they strengthened in every position,” he said.
“For sure they will miss Maliksi’s ten points per game but other players should be expected to step up,” added Gregorio as he looks forward to Meralco’s first-ever Final Four appearance against the franchise he once led to a couple of championships.