Is San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo attempting a return and help his struggling teammates against Alaska Aces in their championship battle?
The Cebuano slotman has reportedly joined his team in their shooting drills apart from doing light drills, fanning speculations the two-time Most Valuable Player may see action sooner than expected.
In an interview, Fajardo confirms he will suit up for Game 5 tonight at the Araneta Coliseum but shut down assumptions he may strut his wares despite a supposed fragile knee.
“Fit naman ako (to play), pero dahil nga may injury, medyo limited pa yung mga galaw ko. May konting pain pa kasi,” said Fajardo.
The fourth year center has not played since the series opener after he sustained a strained left knee during Game 6 of their semifinal showdown against Rain or Shine last January 15.
While no tear was found on both the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) on the left knee, swelling and pain kept Fajardo on a day-to-day basis.
Fajardo started shooting drills last Monday and had several exercises that are required to reintroduce him back to the game and regain his rhythm.
“Nag-shooting na ako, tapos may mga exercises na akong ginagawa,” said Fajardo after practice session at the Acropolis gym in Quezon City.
After a no-show in the first three games of the finals, Fajardo was at the Philsports Arena 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 avoided elimination and a series ‘sweep’ by Alaska with 110-104 overtime victory last Sunday.
After the game, Fajardo said he was given the green light to play by team doctors, giving him the decision if he wants to return in the series.
Yesterday, he said he is excited to play.
“Gusto ko din mag-laro talaga e, lahat ng players naman pinangarap maka-laro sa finals. Hindi naman ako nai-iba sa kanila,” said Fajardo, who averages a league best 26 points, 14.82 rebounds and 2.12 shot blocks.