TNT consultant Mark Dickel said Jericho Cruz is simply out with a hamstring injury, dismissing rumors the guard is being dropped from the roster because of an impending trade.
Unverified reports on social media claimed Cruz was asked not to attend TNT practices anymore ahead of the KaTropa’s quarterfinal series against San Miguel.
The former Adamson standout, earlier mentioned to be part of a three-team trade that will bring rookie Ray Parks to Meralco, was also recently relegated to the injury list along with Frank Golla. David Semerad and Ken Bono returned to the active roster.
Cruz, who has yet to make a significant impact at TNT since he was acquired in a trade with Rain or Shine last year, has a nagging hamstring injury which will keep him out of action for a lengthy period of time, Dickel said.
“He just had a recurring hamstring injury. It’s kinda what the deal is. We just didn’t want to keep risking it and it can get worse,” said Dickel hours before the start of TNT’s quarterfinal series against San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“Dave Semerad is coming back from an injury. He will be going up against June Mar. It’s good to have another big player,” said Dickel.
Dickel made it clear there is no other reason for Cruz's relegation to the injury list other than his injury.
“There is no big conspiracy theory or what. I’m not familiar with any of those rumors but the reality is he is hurt and we want him to be as healthy as possible,” said Dickel.
Dickel said Cruz could possibly miss the rest of the conference.
“I would imagine that by the end of the conference, which could be shortly or it could be later,” said Dickel.