SONNY Thoss remains hopeful of earning a place in Gilas Pilipinas' 12-man roster for the coming Fiba-Asia Men's Championship even if he undergoes offseason treatment for a "long-kept knee injury" that could force him to miss the national team's training camp in Lithuania.
The Alaska slotman on Friday confirmed a Spin.ph report that he faces the prospect of missing out on Gilas' Lithuania trip to undergo alternative treatment for what he described as two to three-inch "lag" on his left knee that he had nursed for more than a year now.
The 6-7 Fil-German also said he has talked to national coach Chot Reyes about the injury and subsequent treatment that he plans to undertake at the end of Alaska's campaign in the Commissioner's Cup, which could in turn dim his hopes of making Gilas' final 12 for the Fiba-Asia tournament.
The lag on his left knee, Thoss explained, causes imbalance on his lower back and affects his walk. The same injury forces his other knee to overwork, he added.
“There’s a gap on my knee. If you notice, my right knee is straight, my left is not,” said Thoss. “This injury has been off and on for quite a long time now. I just tried to hide it.
“I’ve been feeling this for a long time now. And all I do is strengthen it and try to cover it up and play through it.”
Thoss disclosed that Alaska team doctors have already contacted a doctor in China that provides athletes an alternative form of treatment for such injuries rather than surgery. Such a procedure would take 10-14 days to complete.
There lies the problem.
Assuming the Aces go all the way and complete a full schedule in the Commissioner’s cup, Thoss can only fly to China on May 24 - or nine days before Gilas flies to Lithuania.
Aside form being in danger of missing the only international training in Gilas' buildup for the Fiba-Asia tournament, Thoss has not been able to participate in Gilas' once-a-week practices since February 11 on orders of mother team Alaska.
Still, Thoss, a vital cog in the Gilas team that won the Jones Cup and finished fourth in the Fiba-Asia Cup in Japan last year, said he remains hopeful of keeping his place in the national team ahead of the August tournament serving as a qualifier for the 2014 world championships in Spain.
It is precisely this dream that has convinced him to seek treatment for the knee discomfort, Thoss said.
“Of course, I still want to be part of the team. It’s the reason why I am doing everything to get myself healthy and come back right into it,” Thoss stressed.
“It’s a great privilege to play for the national team."
Asked about his chances of landing a Gilas spot if he is forced to skip the Lithuania trip, Thoss said: “That I don’t know. I just want to prepare myself as best as possible. If there is an opportunity and coach Chot selects me, that’ll be good."