BARANGAY Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar said he was relieved not to have suffered an ACL (arterior cruciate ligament) injury in the game against Barako Bull on Friday night.
The Gilas Pilipinas star admitted he feared the worst when he landed awkwardly after trying to go for a baseline dunk while being challenged by Mick Pennisi and Barako Bull import Mike Singletary during the game which Ginebra lost, 91-104.
He was later diagnosed with a sprained MCL (medial collateral ligament) on his right knee.
“Ine-expect ko na ganun lang (sprained MCL). Siyempre, very happy na 'yun lang ang naging injury ko at hindi yung (torn) ACL (anterior cruciate ligament),” Aguilar told Spin.ph on Sunday just before Ginebra's game against Alaska in the PBA Governors Cup.
"Kasi pag nakita mo sa video (replay) yung bagsak ko, ganun nae-ACL ang player, pa-loob na bagsak ng tuhod. So very fortunate na yun lang ang worse na puwedeng mangyari sa akin."
Aguilar is expected to miss around four to six weeks due to the MCL sprain, according to famed orthopedic surgeon Raul Canlas who evaluated the big man's MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) result last Saturday.
The recovery period for an ACL injury is as much as six months.
But the 26-year-old Gin King said he’ll follow the workout and rehab religiously in the hope of returning much earlier than anticipated for the league's most popular ballclub.
“Sabi sa akin, yung first week ko, wala akong (physical) activity, pero tingin ko mga (after) two weeks makakabalik na ako. Ngayon kasi iniisip ko na yung workout na gagawin ko. Susundin ko ang sasabihin ng doctor,” said the Gilas backup slotman.
Aguilar’s unexpected injury left Ginebra with a smaller frontline as veteran forward Kerby Raymundo is still out with a bone bruise on his knee.
Before the injury, Aguilar was averaging 10 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 57.1 percent field goal shooting in his first two games with the Gin Kings.