WITH Gilas Pilipinas set to officially start its buildup for the Fiba Asia championships on Monday, June Mar Fajardo said he remained unsure of his participation in the national team citing the need to let his painful feet heal.
The 6-foot-10 Cebuano was back at his old stomping grounds at the Cebu Coliseum where he received a special award from the Cesafi, a league he dominated in leading University of Cebu to titles in 2010 and 2011.
Days after leading San Miguel to the PBA Governors Cup championship, Fajardo revealed to Spin.ph he has been dealing with plantar fasciitis on both feet, casting doubt on his return to the national team.
On Saturday, the gentle giant indicated the injuries aren't much better.
"Sa ngayon masakit pa talaga masyado. Masakit nga siya ilakad eh," said Fajardo in his native tongue. "Ang mahirap kasi if di ako healthy, wala pa rin akong maitutulong sa team."
During the course of last season, Fajardo said he was advised by renowned sports doctor Jose Canlas to skip some practices to give his foot time to heal.
However, it was a luxury he couldn't affort.
With the San Miguel Beermen chasing a second championship for the season, he was forced to gut it out.
"Napagsabihan na nga ako ni Dr. Canlas na huwag na raw ako bumalik dun sa kanya kasi di rin daw ko naman sinusunod instructions niya," shared Fajardo with a laugh.
Fajardo was the first of five players from the San Miguel Corp. bloc to be declared doubtful for the Gilas side to the coming Fiba Asia championships. He was later followed by Star's Marc Pingris, Ginebra's LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar and SMB teammate Marcio Lassiter.
With Fajardo still unsure of joining the Gilas, and several more in the same boat as him, the big man said he felt sad with the recent developments surrounding the national squad.
"Eh ganun talaga eh. May mga injuries din ang mga players. Di rin natin mapipilit."
Fajardo was set to fly back to Manila on Saturday evening. He also bared that in the event that he will skip Gilas duty, he will just stay in his hometown of Pinamungahan to recover and prepare for next season.