THE new PBA season has yet to kick off, yet it appears Petron is about to start its campaign on the wrong foot.
With four weeks to go before the Philippine Cup formally opens, at least three key Boosters are currently nursing injuries that could hamper the team’s bid for the All-Filipino championship.
Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz and Dorian Pena are all hurting with various injuries. Of the three, Lassiter's appears to be the most serious with an MCL sprain on his right knee following what SMC director for sports Noli Eala termed as a "freak accident" the sophomore shooting guard suffered in practice on Tuesday.
“After MRI, initial results show right knee MCL sprain. Probable ACL sprain but no tear,” Eala tweeted on his account@NoliEala.
“Final results for Marcio will be out tomorrow (Wednesday). So far signs are good that no surgery is needed.”
The Boosters are set to play their first tune-up game on Wednesday against reigning Governors Cup champion Rain or Shine with all three players not suiting up.
Tweeted new Petron coach Olsen Racela on his account@thebigOls, “Dorian, Chris and Marcio will not play because of various injuries. Hopefully they'll be ready in time for the opening.”
Pena is out with a hamstring partial tear, while Lutz has a hip flexors/adductors strain.
Eala however, said the injury to Lassiter may likely keep him out again for a month, delaying once more his return to the Petron rotation. Lassiter sat out most of the Governors Cup last season after injuring his shooting hand.
“If MCL sprain, prognosis is 3-4 weeks rest. If ACL, it’s 4-6 weeks out,” said the SMC official.
Added Racela: “Lost an important player because of a trade in the 1st week,” obviously referring to veteran wingman Dondon Hontiveros, who was shipped to Alaska last week.
“3 more down because of injuries this wk. Not exactly the kind of start we want.”