Feb 08, 2020

Fajardo remains in high spirit, says injury just a minor setback

Five-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo considered the injury that forced him out of action for an indefinite period of time as a "minor setback" and promised to come out of this unfortunate episode stronger and wiser.

"It's just a minor setback! God has a better plan (for me). I'll be right back," Fajardo said in an Instagram post with a picture of his affected right leg wrapped in bandage.

Fajardo fractured his right tibia during San Miguel's practice last week, which necessitated surgery and long recovery.

This is the kind of injury that tests the resolve of even the toughest of player but the 6-foot-10 PBA and Gilas Pilipinas stalwart keeps the faith.

"I already know what giving up feels like but I want to see what happens if I don't," Fajardo said.

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Fellow PBA players and coaches showered Fajardo with well wishes.

"It's devastating. I think we all agree that June Mar is one of the greatest guys there is," said NorthPort's Christian Standhardinger, who used to be Fajardo's back up at San Miguel. "I know that June Mar's gonna recover as quickly as possible, he's a great guy, great work ethic. I wish him only the best."

Gilas Pilipinas was similarly saddened by the plight of the two-time FIBA World Cup campaigner, who was actually given a breather in the first window of the coming Asia Cup Qualifiers even before his sidelining.

"We're devastated. He's a member of the Gilas family, maybe one of the most integral member of the family over the last couple of years," said Gilas program director Tab Baldwin. "That injury is a tough injury, not easy to come back from so everybody has to be patient with his recovery."

Fajardo's absence could make for a more "open" chase for the Philippine Cup, which has been San Miguel's monopoly the last five seasons.

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"We have to find ways to have a good game plan, a different game plan, kasi wala nga si June Mar and alam naman natin na nagrerevolve ang plays namin kay June Mar," said SMB coach Leo Austria. "But now he's not around, I'm still hoping and confident that our players, they can compensate yung output ni June Mar."

"Minor setback! We got you, big dawg," guard Chris Ross wrote in his post on Twitter for his injured teammate.(OL)