Sigh of relief for La Salle as injured Kib Montalbo ready to play in a week
La Salle guard Kib Montalbo is helped by teammates on his way to the dugout. Jaime Campos

ONE less injury concern for De La Salle.

The reigning UAAP men’s champion heaved a sigh of relief on Tuesday as guard Kib Montalbo is expected to return to action a week after sustaining an injury in a game against University of Santo Tomas.

Coach Juno Sauler said the pride of Bacolod City suffered a left calf contusion that only requires a short rest, making Montalbo available to play starting in the second round.

“Good to go in a week,” said Sauler.

Montalbo was seen writhing in pain after his left knee was accidentally hit by a UST defender in La Salle’s 83-70 win over the Tigers. He left the Mall of Asia Arena in crutches.

The incident came at a time when the Green Archers’ backcourt was already crippled as starting point guard Thomas Torres is already out with a fractured ankle.

But Montalbo was in high spirits after emerging from the dugout in crutches.

“Bugbog. It hurts. Kung lagyan ko siya ng weight, masakit,” said the sophomore playmaker when he spoke to reporters after the game.

“Pero kaya ‘yan. Definitely (makakalaro ako),” he added.

With Torres out, Montalbo has been providing the spark as the team’s starting guard, scoring a career-high 18 points in La Salle’s win over Adamson.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports