KARIM Abdul admitted he is still not a hundred percent healthy after knee surgery, and probably won’t be in top form until the UAAP Final Four.
That’s still quite a while, with the first round of eliminations just about to finish, but UST’s Cameroonian import vowed to keep fighting especially on defense as the Tigers battle vie for a place in the playoffs.
“By the Final Four, hopefully I’m 100 percent healthy,” said Abdul.
Despite playing hurt following surgery to remove bone spurs in his left knee, Abdul is averaging 9.7 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Tigers.
He has posted a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds for UST in its 77-61 win over La Salle for a share of the lead Far Eastern Uiversity at 5-1.
“I still haven’t recovered from the surgery I had with my knee. I’m still working on it,” said Abdul.
Progress has been fine, although Abdul revealed the medical team didn’t see the real problems at first.
“It was bone spurs last April but I still have tight muscles. I’m working on strengthening and releasing, and those stuff,” said Abdul.
“Actually, the problem is we were kinda slow to detect what was wrong so when our strength and conditioning coach realized what’s wrong. That’s where he changed my workouts and all that stuff. We are getting into it,” said Abdul.
In his effort to conserve energy, Abdul said he has been focusing more on defense more so since the team already has a lot of scorers this season in Kevin Ferrer, who is averaging 18.5 points, and Ed Daquiaog, who contributes 17 points per outing.
“I’m focusing on defense since we have scorers like Kevin, Ed, and Embons (Bonleon). They can shoot the threes. I don’t want to waste my energy. I want to focus on defense,” said Abdul.
Abdul, with renewed optimism, is now also much different than the player that had been calling out teammates for failing to step up.
The Cameroonian believes the Growling Tigers, who last won the UAAP crown in 2006, can still fight for the championship in his final year with the team.
“I still believe in this team. I still believe that we can win the championship. That’s why we are doing our best to realize it,” said Abdul.