June Mar Fajardo has been ruled out for at least six weeks due to a grade 3 Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tear which he suffered during San Miguel’s campaign in the EASL Champions Week.
The 33-year-old Cebuano big man sustained the injury halfway in the opening quarter of the Beermen’s match against the Ryukyu Golden Kings last March 2.
Without their main man, the league’s winningest franchise lost the game, 96-68, and eventually finished the mini-tournament with a 0-2 record.
SMB team manager Gee Abanilla confirmed the unfortunate development thru a text message.
“He has an MCL injury, grade 3, and will be out for about six weeks depending on how he responds to his rehab. I really hope he recovers well,” he wrote.
The injury puts a dent on Fajardo’s bid for a seventh MVP trophy. He was the Best Player of the current season’s Philippine Cup and was on top of the MVP race at the start of the Governors’ Cup with his 28.9 statistical points – 4 points ahead of second placer Scottie Thompson.
The top overall pick of the 2012 draft also missed a couple of weeks during the Commissioner’s Cup due to a throat injury but came back with a bang and powered the Beermen all the way to the semifinals where they eventually bowed to guest team Bay Area.
Fajardo, who’s in danger of missing the rest of the season-ending conference, is averaging 14.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.4 blocks in nine games played this conference.
The Beermen are running third with a 7-2 card and have two games left on their elimination round schedule – against NLEX on March 15 and Rain or Shine on the 17th.