Fajardo suffers minor knee injury

Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Officials of San Miguel Beer team said yesterday June Mar Fajardo was nursing a bruised knee and would be ready to rejoin the Gilas Pilipinas training after a few days rest.

“He’ll be back by Monday,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria after getting assurance from team physical therapist Jigs Tenorio.

“He’s been examined by our doctor. June Mar’s knee had a bruise but give him three days and he’ll be ready,” Austria said. “Apparently, he’s having a hard time in practice as he’s not in shape. He came from an injury.”

With a swollen knee, Fajardo sat out Gilas’ practice Thursday, raising some concern in the team since he’s the only other major big man in the Gilas pool outside of Andray Blatche.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra behemoth Greg Slaughter had undergone a surgical procedure under renowned sports surgeon Raul Canlas.

“Thank you Lord for a successful surgery. Let the healing begin!” said Slaughter on his Twitter account yesterday shortly after the repair of his ankle problem.

Slaughter and his Ginebra team will now await his rehabilitation and recovery but they may take some time.

But Ginebra coach Tim Cone is hopeful they can have Slaughter back before the end of the PBA Governors Cup eliminations.

“We’re hoping he’ll be back sometime within the eliminations of the third conference. We’re not considering signing anyone (in place of Slaughter),” Cone told The STAR.

“Mostly I feel bad for Gilas. I think Greg could have really helped them. Sayang,” Cone also said.

Slaughter went under the knife 39 days before the start of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament where he could have formed a triple tower combination with Blatche and Fajardo for Gilas Pilipinas.

But Slaughter’s ankle injury got in the way.

Slaughter was part of the original Gilas program with Marcus Douthit, Chris Tiu, Jvee Casio, Mark Barroca, Mac Baracael, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz and others before turning pro in 2013.

He was invited back to the pool for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China, but he declined.

For the current Gilas training pool, he had attended the Monday practices before getting injured.

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