Cone looks forward to seeing fit Greg Slaughter rejoin Ginebra after successful ACL surgery
Greg Slaughter is slated to return to action midway through next season. Jaime Campos

EVEN while in the middle of a battle in its quest to end a long PBA title drought, Barangay Ginebra is already gearing up for the future.

Big man Greg Slaughter had a successful surgery to repair his injured ACL on Friday in the first step toward making him a better player – and the Kings a better team – come next season.

Coach Tim Cone expressed a sigh of relief the operation is over and done with, and hopes to see a fit and ready Slaughter play under him middle of the PBA’s 42nd season next year.

“I’m just glad it’s over. And he’s moving forward and we’re all moving forward, that’s the key,” said Cone when asked by on any updates about the condition of the 28-year-old center.

“It amazes me that when he comes back, he’ll be ready.”

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Slaughter underwent ACL procedure at a time the Kings are engaging the Meralco Bolts in the season-ending Governors Cup finals that is currently tied at two-game apiece.

The towering center lamented not being able to personally cheer for his team, but vows to get ready to play next year.

“Sad I won’t get to watch this finals series live, but that only means I’ll be cheering and supporting the team on TV. We got this guys! #NSD,” Slaughter tweeted on his account@GWillSlaughter.

“It’s time for me to rest and get ready to come back better than ever.”

Initially, Cone said Slaughter didn’t see the need to go under the knife. But following a series of MRIs, it was deemed operation was the best option for the former Ateneo stalwart.

“It was obvious that he needed surgery,” Cone pointed out. “So we needed to get that swelling down before he really got it.”

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Renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. George Canlas performed the procedure for Slaughter.

Slaughter will still need to undergo rehabilitation and therapy, meaning he’ll expected to miss the entire season-opener Philippine Cup for the Kings.

At the most, according to Cone, the four-year pro is likely to comeback late in the Commissioner’s Cup or at the most, in the season-ending Governors Cup.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos