Kelly Williams taking it one step at a time on return from MCL injury
Kelly Williams admits he's not yet in 100 percent game shape. Jerome Ascano

VETERAN Kelly Williams admitted he’s still trying to get a feel of the game after playing in just his second outing with Talk ‘N Text in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday after coming back from an MCL strain.

Unlike in his first game against NLEX, Williams played extended minutes against Blackwater, suiting up for 12 minutes and contributing six points on a perfect 2-of-2 shooting from the field to go with five rebounds in a 109-98 win.

The former league MVP said his injured knee, which he hurt during Gilas Pilipinas’ 3.0’s first practice session last August, has now healed, although physically he’s not yet 100 percent in game shape.

“My knee has healed. Overall, I feel great physically. I’m just getting my rhythm back and my wind,” said the 33-year-old power forward.

“I thought I’m 80 percent (in game shape) now.”

The MCL strain Williams suffered didn’t require surgery, but needed a long rest that forced him to quit Gilas and sit out the Tropang Texters’ first four games of the all-Filipino conference.

Williams also thought the entry of rookie big men Mo Tautuaa and Troy Rosario allowed him to be eased slowly into the team upon his return.

“I don’t expect to get heavy minutes. I mean Troy, Mo, Harvey (Carey), and Danny (Seigle), they’re doing great. So if I can just come in and give good minutes out there, it would be a plus for the team,” he said.

“Hopefully, I could adjust soon. I just want to help the team the best way I can.”

Although he’s not totally closing the door on rejoining the Gilas training pool, Williams believes coach Tab Baldwin already has a complete roster at his disposal now.

“I think they’re pretty set right now,” he said. “I just wanna focus on getting myself back in great shape and help Talk ‘N Text, go from there, and see what happens.”

What if Baldwin asks him to practice with the national team, Williams was asked.

“I think that’s getting too far ahead, I just want to be in the great shape possible that I can,” Williams said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos