Ranidel de Ocampo makes first public appearance, aching to get back on court
Ranidel de Ocampo watches Talk 'N Text in action for the first time since suffering a freak injury while doing weight training in October. Dante Peralta

IT seems Ranidel De Ocampo’s injured back is fine now. But there’s something else that’s hurting.

The veteran Talk 'N Text forward is aching to get back on the court, although he has yet set a timetable for his return following a freak injury he suffered while doing gym work two months ago.

Positivity still filled the air on Wednesday when De Ocampo made his first PBA appearance since he suffered a herniated disc while doing weight training during one of the team’s practices last October.

“Sana makabalik agad,” the Tropang Texters star said after the Texters’ 105-98 overtime loss to Barako Bull in the Smart Bro-Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena. “Nami-miss ko na maglaro kasama 'yung mga teammates ko 'tsaka 'yung mga coaches, at  tsaka fans.”

[See Giant-killer Barako claims Talk 'N Text scalp]

De Ocampo said he has started working out, lifting light weights while undergoing therapy.

“Nagpapalakas na…pero wala (pang timetable),” the 33-year-old cager said. “Mahirap na magkaroon ng target kasi baka hindi ko makuha 'yung gustong date.”

“Kung mapaaga man, mas maganda,” he added.

De Ocampo thanked rookies Mo Tautuaa and Troy Rosario for filling in his shoes.

“Ginagawa naman nila 'yung best nila, ginagawa nila kung ano 'yung makakaya nila,” he said. “Syempre, na-appreciate ng team 'yun na nagse-step up sila at natututo. Sana magtuloy-tuloy 'yung magandang laro ng TNT. 'Yung nga lang natalo ngayon.”

The Gilas Pilipinas standout said he will also drop by the national team practice soon.

“Dadalaw ko. Sisilip ako.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos