Petron’s Fajardo won’t need surgery on injured knee, says coach Abanilla
MANILA, Philippines — Petron Blaze center Junemar Fajardo won’t be needing any surgery on his knee after hurting it during practice Monday.
The second-year star Fajardo had been ruled out of the Boosters’ Christmas Day clash with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Wednesday due to a right knee injury but fears of possibly sustaining a season-ending injury were quickly erased.
“Junemar (Fajardo) is not playing tomorrow but luckily his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is intact according to doctors,” Petron head coach Gee Abanilla told INQUIRER.net Tuesday.
An ACL tear would at least require nearly a year of recovery period and with Fajardo avoiding such severe injury came as good news to Petron.
The six-foot-10 Fajardo has emerged as one of the league’s best players and without him, the Boosters will be missing a vital piece on both ends of the floor.
“We just have to be resilient and weather the storm,” Abanilla added.
The Boosters had been playing shorthanded since the start of the 2014 Philippine Cup with injuries to key stringers Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross and Chris Lutz before getting them back over the course of the conference.
Despite being undermanned, Petron still managed to share the top spot with Barangay Ginebra, which is currently on a four-game tear, at 7-1.
The Boosters though, will definitely have its hands full against the tallest team in the league in the Kings, who flaunt a formidable frontcourt tandem in seven-foot Greg Slaughter and athletic forward Japeth Aguilar, with Fajardo out.
There’s still no timetable for return for Fajardo with the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) reading of doctors yet to be released, according to Abanilla.
“At least no surgery needed as I was informed,” he said.
“We are hoping for the best for Junemar and I know that God will always be there to guide him and our team.”