MANILA, Philippines -- There is still no timetable for Alyssa Valdez's return to action, though the Creamline captain is hopeful that she can play in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference.
Valdez suffered a right knee injury in the Cool Smashers' third-place game against Chery Tiggo Crossovers in the PVL Reinforced Conference last December. She had to be helped off the court but ultimately did not need therapy.
In an emotional Instagram post last week, Valdez said she is making progress in her recovery but did not specify if she can play for Creamline in the upcoming conference. On Saturday, she told reporters that her doctors and physical therapists do not want her to rush back to active competition.
"I've been doing great," Valdez said during the press conference for the PVL's All-Filipino tournament at the Discovery Suites Manila in Ortigas. "I've been doing a lot of exercises na, and hopefully soon, I can join practices."
"Sabi naman po ng mga doctors and PT, I've been really recovering well," she added. "[But] the timetable naman, hindi rin siya sure. They want me to get back to 100%, na hindi rin nagmamadali."
"So hopefully talaga, guys I'm really praying na I'll see you guys on the court this All-Filipino."
The PVL All-Filipino Conference starts on Feb. 4, with Creamline as the defending champion.
The hope for Valdez is that she will be fully recovered in time to join the national team in their preparation for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, should she be called up by the national federation.
In this regard, she is relieved that her injury did not require surgery. Valdez avoided tearing her anterior cruciate ligament, which would have ruled her out for at least six months.
"We all know it's very hard if there's open surgery, 'di ba. It's different if there's something put inside you as well," said Valdez. "Good thing, walang [surgery]. Mas mabilis din 'yung pagbalik if there's no surgery."
Though she is unused to missing games -- Valdez has been extraordinarily durable despite playing at a high level since her collegiate days -- the veteran open spiker is looking forward to seeing the game "from a different perspective" while at the sidelines.
"I get to appreciate it more, that's one thing that motivates me also to keep on going and to get back right away. So, it's been very hard, if you're competitive also, and your teammates are very competitive, and the coaches," she said.
"I'm trying to get used to that feeling pa rin. Pero I think this is one way also of saying na I have to see volleyball in a different side din," she added.