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Fajardo stays grounded

With no damage in the ligaments, only the swelling on the left knee keeps reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo from rejoining San Miguel Beer in the title series against Alaska in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup.

SMB team manager Gee Abanilla reiterated the earlier prognosis on the 6-10 Fajardo’s knee after a check up yesterday morning with renowned sports specialist Dr. Raul Canlas.

“I just spoke to Dr. Canlas, and he said ACL and PCL are both intact. That’s what we’ve been saying since Saturday based on the earlier findings after he had an MRI,” said Abanilla.

“Dr. Canlas is the only person in authority to discuss the injury of any San Miguel player, including June Mar’s injury. I’m sure that Dr. Canlas knows what he’s saying,” added Abanilla.

With an intact ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), the only concern now Abanilla said is the swelling on the knee.

“Of course, if there is swelling, there is pain. But as soon as the swelling subsides – and no more pain, he’ll be able to play again,” said Abanilla. “our main concern is the health of June Mar. If he really can’t play, we won’t force him in this series. San Miguel lost to Alaska in Game 1 of the best-of-seven title series, 100-91, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces outrebounded the Beermen, 48-28.

Fajardo sustained the injury in Game 6 of the semifinal series against Rain or Shine last Friday at the Big Dome.

Other news outlets reported of a partial tear, and a Twitter post by TV5 courtside reporter Mara Aquino even quoted San Miguel’s Dr. Chito Ibañes as saying Fajardo has “Grade II partial tear ACL” last Sunday.

“If there is really tear, why wait if that requires surgery right away. Of course, we won’t delay any surgery because there is no logic on waiting if there is tear already,” Abanilla said.

“June Mar was able to walk on his own when he want to see Dr. Canlas. So how can one say he’s suffering from torn ACL,” said Abanilla.

Fajardo, who averaged 31.33 points, 15.67 rebounds, 1.67 assists and 2.67 shot blocks in the semifinals against Rain or Shine, was a no-show in the series opener as management opted to give him rest.