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Lee’s Gilas stint in peril

A bum knee may force Gilas prospect Paul Lee to skip the training pool’s preparation for the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Paul Lee and Chris HodgeFresh from leading Rain or Shine to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title last week at the expense of the Alaska Aces, Lee revealed he will discuss his situation with head coach Tab Baldwin in the coming days.

“Ganun pa din e, after ko magpa-check up sa doctor last Friday, meron pa ding partial tear yung ligament. Saka mas maraming tubig ngayon kesa noong huling nagpa-drain ako,” added Lee.

The former Rookie of the Year suffered the injury October of last year in a tune up game against NLEX prior to the Philippine Cup. An MRI test showed Lee’s left knee with partial tear on both the lateral meniscus and ITB (Iliotibial Band) tendons, forcing him to undergo two Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments.

A second PRP treatment was performed on Lee in late January this year, which caused him to miss the first five games of the Commissioner’s Cup. Despite a poor start, Lee finally showed what he is capable of doing in the semifinals opposite San Miguel Beer and in the title series versus Alaska where he was named the PBA Press Corps CIGNAL Finals MVP.

Apparently, Baldwin is already aware of Lee’s situation but is still hopeful the Tondo-native dribbler could recover soon enough.

“It is what it is. We just have to deal with it. But I know he badly wants to be part of Gilas. I have to see him on Tuesday. I haven’t talk to him yet but I read that he has knee issues,” said Baldwin. “If he needs to rest, we’ll give him time to rest. But do we have enough time to rest?”

Injury bug has bitten the Gilas pool as Baldwin has already scratched two players from the pool namely Ginebra’s 7-foot center Greg Slaughter who is scheduled to have surgery to remove bone spurs on his ankle, and Tropang TNT 6-5 sophomore Matt Ganuelas-Rosser who had surgery to repair an injured knee a few weeks ago.