RAIN or Shine’s frontline got even thinner after Jervy Cruz suffered a partial tear on his right calf during the Elasto Painters’ 107-79 crushing of the Meralco Bolts in a fight-marred PBA Philippine Cup road game on Saturday night in Davao City.
JD Calinawan, the team’s physical therapist said the hard-banging Cruz sustained the freak injury while trying to run back on defense in the first half.
“Patakbo na siya (on defense) nung may pumitik, so yun pala yung sa calf muscle niya na nag-partial tear. Galing na kami kay doc (orthopedic surgeon Edgar Eufemio) at yun nga, he’ll be out for three weeks,” Calinawan told Spin.ph on Monday.
Fortunately, the Elasto Painters have a 10-day break before returning to action next Tuesday against the Asi Taulava-led NLEX Road Warriors at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Calinawan explained that the 2013 PBA Mr. Quality Minutes will only start therapy this week.
“Matatapos ang elims (schedule of Rain or Shine) ng December 7, so depende, baka late ng eliminations maka-balik si Jervy or maybe sa quarterfinals na kaya for this week, sit out muna siya sa practice, except na may therapy na siya,” he added.
The former University of Santo Tomas forward is averaging 7.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21 minutes in the season-opening Philippine Cup.
Without Cruz, the Elasto Painters will be forced to rely heavily on their thin frontline that includes the “Extra Rice Inc.” pair of Beau Belga and JR Quinahan and reed-thin sophomore center Raymond Almazan.
Rain or Shine, currently tied for third and fourth spots with Barangay Ginebra at 5-2, will also face playoff-bound squads Purefoods Star (November 30), Alaska (December 5), before closing their single-round eliminations schedule against Ginebra on December 7.