RICHARD Howell may not still not be 100 percent, but the hardworking import is expected to suit up for Talk `N Text in its PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal duel with Barangay Ginebra on Tuesday.
Team therapist Dexter Aseron told Spin.ph that he has put together a thorough therapy program to put Howell back in fighting shape in time for the playoffs.
“Okay na siya. Maglalaro siya bukas versus Ginebra. Bruised shoulder lang naman kaya pinahinga lang namin,” said Aseron.
The bruised shoulder left Howell inactive for at least six days.
“Mga six days siya nag rest, then nag practice na siya Tuesday last week. Di pa siya siguro 100 percent conditioned pero almost there na,” added the youthful Gila Pilipinas medical staffer.
Howell was limited to just 16 minutes of play in the Tropang Texters’ elimination round assignment against Rain or Shine last April 9 after a bad fall while attempting a lay-up in front of defender Paul Lee.
The import eventually missed the team’s final game in the eliminations against Globalport two days after.
Aseron bared Howell has been doubling up on his stamina-building drills during practices to hasten his recovery.
“Yung conditioning siyempre maapektuhan (sa mahaba niyang pahinga), pero hard naman practices namin lagi so he is okay," said Aseron.
Howell is definitely an important piece in the Tropang Texters’ bid to regain the Commissioner’s Cup title they last won in 2011.
The hard-banging 6-foot-9 American is currently averaging 20.50 points, 19.60 rebounds, 1.50 steals, and 1.50 assists per game in steering Talk N Text to a nine-game sweep of the eliminations and a twice-to-beat advantage against eight seeded Ginebra.
As for the health of the entire Talk `N Text team, Aseron assures everything is fine.
“Wala namang injuries 'yung other players ng team,” he said.
Injury woes kept the franchise out of the title race for the last three conferences after winning the Philippine Cup last year.