MARC Pingris' return to the Star Hotshots lineup may take longer than expected.
The veteran forward is scheduled to go to the US to seek treatment for his recurring hip injury, putting in doubt a comeback in the ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Pingris said he's just waiting for his papers to be processed before departing for Los Angeles, where he'll stay for at least a month.
"Medyo hindi nawawala kasi yung pain," said Pingris after the team's 108-90 rout of Meralco in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"May maga doon sa buto. Papa-check ko lang naman doon kung ano ang magandang gagawin tapos dito ko na itutuloy. Tapos baka pa-rehab ko na rin," he said.
But surgery is definitely out of the question.
"Gumiginhawa naman siya ng kaunti ngayon. Nag-i-improve naman kahit paano," said Pingris. "Kasi may mga galaw lang siya na masakit. And hindi ma-explain ng mga doctors dito."
Renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jorge Canlas was the one who recommend the L.A. clinic to the 35-year-old former Gilas Pilipinas mainstay.
Pingris said he hopes to be back for the Hotshots come the playoffs if his injury heals quickly.
"Tingnan natin pero yun talaga ang target namin," said Pingris, who hasn't played for Star this conference after suffering the injury during the team's Philippine Cup semifinals series with Barangay Ginebra.