MANILA, Philippines — Almost a week after hitting the floor face first in TNT's game against Phoenix at Mall of Asia Arena, forward Troy Rosario returned to practice on Tuesday together with the rest of Gilas Pilipinas.
Rosario had to be stretchered out of MoA Arena and rushed to a nearby hospital following his fall, which saw his head bounce against the floor. While he did not sustain a major injury, Rosario was still not allowed to play for TNT in its game against Barangay Ginebra last Sunday.
However, he received clearance to practice on Tuesday with the national team, though he did not participate fully in drills or in scrimmages at Meralco Gym.
“OK na,” said Rosario. “Advice lang ng neuro (neurologist) na light practice lang muna for 3 days tapos pakiramdaman lang muna.”
It was clear that Rosario was not at 100%. He repeatedly flexed his right wrist — which he also hit on the MoA Arena court — after shooting, and acknowledged that he still has trouble opening and closing his jaw.
Rosario was also wary of pushing himself too hard, lest he feels nauseous.
“Anytime na mahilo ako, talagang delikado daw,” he explained.
The athletic forward is not expected to play in TNT’s crucial game against GlobalPort in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday.
It is also unsure if he can play for the national team in the second window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers from February 22 to 25.
“Well, he’s cleared to practice, but he’s really not cleared to play,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes. “He’s cleared to do some light workouts, shooting drills, but not really full contact.”
Given this situation, Reyes acknowledged that it is doubtful Rosario will be ready in time for the Philippines’ game against Australia on February 22 in Melbourne.
“We’re not keeping our hopes up high for him to be able to join the team,” said the coach.
Rosario said he is grateful that the Gilas coach understands the unfortunate situation, adding that he will continue to attend the national team’s practice until they leave for Melbourne, though there is little chance that he can join them in the trip.
“Araw-araw ako pupunta ng practice,” he said.
”Bukas, may game kami pero 7 p.m. pa naman yun so baka pumunta muna ako dito tapos habol ako sa game para manood,” he added.
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