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June Mar cleared to play but…

After getting clearance from doctors, hurting San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo is now in a quandary whether to play or not in his team’s do-or-die match opposite the Alaska Aces.

However time is not on Fajardo’s side as he needs to make a decision as soon as possible with Game 5 of the best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup title showdown scheduled tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Sabi sa akin (team doctors) nasa sa akin na lang daw ‘yun kung kaya ko,” said Fajardo, the 6-10 reigning back-to-back MVP of the Beermen who has not played since the series opener due to a left knee injury he sustained in Game 6 of the semifinals against Rain or Shine last Jan. 15.

But Fajardo reiterates he wants to be 100% ready should he decide to play in the ongoing finals.

“Mahirap din kasi na maglaro ng hindi ka 100 percent fit. Kasi siyempre ‘yung puwersa ko ilalagay ko sa kanang tuhod para protektahan yung kaliwa. Kaya mahirap din, baka ‘yung isa naman ang maapektuhan,” said Fajardo.

One of San Miguel’s physical therapists Gerald Antonio warned of dire consequences should Fajardo, who has missed several days of practice sessions, decides to plunge into a high caliber action such as the ongoing title series.

“Once an athlete stops playing, his muscle shuts down. So hindi basta basta na makaka-laro ka kaagad. Slowly but surely, we’ll try to bring him back to playing form. In the case of June Mar, we’ll see (if he can join practice session of SMB),” said Tenorio.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test last week revealed no tear on Fajardo’s ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), and he has been listed as day-to-day as the swelling subsided since he injured his left knee.

After a no-show in the first three games of the finals, Fajardo was at the venue to personally receive his fourth Nice Day-Best Player of the Conference (BPC) before Game 4, and was the team’s ‘biggest’ cheerleader when SMB rallied late in regulation and in OT.

San Miguel fended off elimination and a title series sweep by Alaska with a gritty 110-104 overtime victory last Sunday at the Philsports Arena (formerly ULTRA) in Pasig City.