As pain from foot injury eases, Joe Devance fills dearth in big men for Ginebra
Joe Devance is not yet 100 perfect fit, but at least he no longer needs painkiller shots on his plantar fasciitis injury. Jaime Campos

JOE Devance is still nursing the painful plantar faciitis in his left foot that limited his movement during the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs, including the finals against San Miguel.

But thank God, he no longer needs a shot.

The Ginebra big man said the injury hasn’t fully healed, although he feels a lot better now compared to a month ago when he had to take painkiller shots not just once but even twice before and during games, just to be able to run up and down the court.

“I don’t need shots anymore, and that’s good,” he related to “It still bothered me a little bit, but I should be fine now.”

The rest in between the all-Filipino conference and the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup helped Devance recuperate from the injury. He and his family, together with teammate Sol Mercado, went on a well-deserved vacation in Singapore during the break.

Likewise, he had another week of rest before the Kings began practicing for the mid-season conference.

“I just rest it when we have our break,” said the 35-year-old Fil-Am from Honolulu, Hawaii.

Devance could have opted not to play in the import-laden tournament for another week or two, but true to the team’s ‘never-say-die’ spirit, he just couldn’t bear seeing the rest of the Kings playing and trying hard to win, while he sits on the bench.

“I think I should have rested a little bit longer, but it’s kind of hard to me not to practice and just watching the guys,” said Devance, who had 7-7-7 (points, rebounds, assists) in Ginebra’s big 113-98 win over Star prior to the Lenten break.

“So I just came back.”

The Kings have now won two in a row after losing their debut game against Phoenix in Davao despite parading the smallest among the 12 imports in Justin Brownlee.

Aware the team needs size now more than anything else, Devance vows to continue playing through the pain.

“It’s not really 100 percent (healed), but I should be fine,” he stressed. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos