GOOD news to San Mig Coffee Mixers fans: there’ll be no long layoff for Joe Devance.
This was the assurance given by Devance and San Mig team doctor Raffy Sanchez, who said an MRI scan done on Saturday on Devance's injured left knee showed no tear on his MCL (medial collateral ligament) as earlier feared.
Devance said he feared the worst when he felt pain after a collision with Meralco rookie Cliff Hodge on Friday night, but was relieved to know he suffered no more than a hyperextended knee.
“I was really scared last night. I don’t want to miss games," said the Fil-American forward, relaying the good news to Spin.ph. “I’m all good. It’s just a bad hyperextension.
"My knees are pretty, strong according to the doctor, so it was able to protect itself,” added Devance.
Sanchez had aired the fears that Devance may have torn his MCL on Friday night, but he explained that it was only a “working diagnosis."
“Buti na lang at mali kami sa aming initial opinion, binase kasi namin yun sa mechanism nung pagkaka-injure niya kagabi,” explained Sanchez. “Buti na lang at hyperextension lang. Walang napunit na litid. That’s very good."
Devance is expected to be back in action in two weeks, the doctor said.
“Yung hyperextension kung sasabihin mo sa pangkaraniwang term, parang pilay lang yun. Which is good kasi Joe can return in 14 days,” added the San Mig physician.
The injury will likely rule out Devance from San Mig’s next games against Air 21 Express (March 20) and Alaska Aces (March 23), but Sanchez revealed that Devance can already start his rehab as early as Tuesday.
Barring any other hitches, the agile big man will be ready by March 31 for the game against the Barako Bull Energy Cola.
“I hope to be back ASAP. Right now, I just need to rest this knee and allow the swelling to subside. It still gives me pain,” said Devance, who attributes his strong knees to his regular workout and daily strengthening activities.
“I never had ACL or MCL injury before, the worst in my career is the bone microfracture on my right knee, that sidelined me for the whole third conference of last year,” recalled Devance.
As for his fans who were also worried last night, Devance has this to say: Thank you for all of the support they gave me last night. I received lots of messages on Twitter. Truly they’re my inspiration. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart."