IT has been a difficult two-month stretch for Creamline star Alyssa Valdez since her knee injury in December.
From missing out on the team's bronze medal clincher to facing surgery scares and an indefinite playing absence, there is plenty to forget but also just as much to gain and work on ahead of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season.
Comeback in limbo for Alyssa Valdez
With the PVL's opening salvo slated to start next week, the Cool Smashers skipper is in high spirits and is "doing great," but the timetable for her on-court return remains uncertain.
"Honestly, sabi naman naman ng doctors and PT, I've been recovering well. Siyempre, the timetable, 'di siya sure. They want me to get back to 100 percent na hindi nagmamadali," the Phenom said.
"Hopefully talaga, I'm really praying that I'll see you guys on court this All-Filipino [Conference]."
According to Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses, a late February return for the Phenom is still possible but will all depend on how the rest of her recovery progresses.
EMOTIONAL ROAD BACK
Admittedly, Valdez was overcome with a heavy rush of emotions in the early stages of her rehabilitation.
"You know why I'm very emotional? Kasi it's very hard pala talaga. It was really scary. I never thought I would feel that. Kaya I can just imagine all the athletes that go through this recovery din so hands down talaga ako," she said.
But with the help of her Cool Smashers family, there is still plenty to be grateful for in such a difficult period for the captain.
"I'm just super happy and thankful na all my teammates and coaches are always there to see me. Lahat ng new exercises at new achievements ko, nakikita nila and sila yung naka-support sa akin."
For the next few weeks, at least, the three-time PVL MVP will play an unusual role for Creamline from the sidelines while she continues her recovery — one that further motivates Valdez to restore her winning form.
"I've been enjoying it seeing volleyball from a different perspective. I get to appreciate [the sport] more. That's one thing that motivates me also to keep going and get back right away."
Even without her on the court, Valdez firmly believes in her team to continue playing at the highest level despite the pressure and sky-high expectations for the league's most successful club to date.
"I think that the expectations will be higher. With this kind of pressure, I believe naman ever since also when I had dengue, everyone stepped up. Not really scared also or very much confident to this team na talagang magbibigay ng magandang laban this conference."