Poy Erram filled with hope for new year aas he makes big strides in recovery from ACL injury
 “Nagli-lift weights na ako, more on pre-jump na, nagpapalakas na lang ng legs, so puro gym, tapos by January, first time ko tatalon after ilang months,” happily reports Poy Erram. Karlo Sacamos

IT’S a happy New Year, indeed, for Poy Erram.

After all, the Blackwater big man’s recovery from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury that has sidelined him since the middle of August is coming along fast, already halfway through his eight-month timetable for a return after surgery.

“So far, so good,” Erram told SPIN.ph. “Nagli-lift weights na ako, more on pre-jump na, nagpapalakas na lang ng legs, so puro gym, tapos by January, first time ko tatalon after ilang months.”

“Compared to before, mas mabilis yung recovery (ngayon),” added Erram, who also tore an ACL on his left knee in college at Ateneo before the right one in a Governors’ Cup game with the Elite. “Ewan ko, parang mas hindi ako natakot eh, kasi pangalawa ko na eh. Na-experience ko na siya dati, so alam ko na yung dapat kong gawin.”

“Tapos sobrang disciplined ako, compared dati,” the 27-year-old cager added. “Kung dati medyo relaxed lang, ngayon, nagfo-focus talaga ako para magpalakas ng legs para makatulong sa team.”

Asked if there’s a chance for a return that’s earlier than what’s projected to be in the late stages of the Commissioner’s Cup, Erram was optimistic, but would rather not rush anything.

“Mayroon naman, pero pangalawa ko na rin, so syempre gusto ko na rin na hindi mamadaliin,” the Elite rising star said. “Yung long term yung iniisip ko eh.”

“Kaysa naman tumulong ako, pero hindi pa ako fully healthy, ‘di ba? Mas lalo lang akong mahihirapan,” he added. “Mas magsu-suffer rin yung team.”

Still, the 6-foot-7 slotman is raring to give a boost to his team’s that’s enjoying its best start in franchise history. Notwithstanding the Christmas Day loss to Mahindra, the Elite are still above .500 and in the upper half of the 12-team standings with a 4-3 win-loss record.

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“Ngayon, ang ganda ng nilalaro ng team, pero syempre gusto ko rin, kahit papaano, maka-contribute,” Erram said. “Ang hirap ng nakaupo ka lang, lalo na pag alam mong kaya mong tumulong, ‘di ba?”

So will his return finally make the Elite legitimate contenders?

“Hindi ko rin masasabi,” Erram said. “Okay lang kung si June Mar (Fajardo) ako, syempre magiging legit contender agad kung kahit saan mapunta si June Mar eh. Siguro, madadagdagan yung improvement ng team, pero hindi ko masasabi, kasi mga bata pa kami.”

“Siguro in the future,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos