The Magnolia Hotshots' worst fears were confirmed Monday afternoon as veteran power forward Marc Pingris was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee.
The news was confirmed by Magnolia team governor Rene Pardo to ESPN5's Carlo Pamintuan shortly before Game 2 of the Hotshots' PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series with the NLEX Road Warriors.
"Yes. It's an ACL tear," Pardo said. "He also suffered the same injury before." Pingris reportedly first tore his ACL playing for the Philippine Youth team about 20 years ago.
Pardo added that surgery is being scheduled and that Dr. George Canlas will perform the surgery. Canlas, one of the country's leading orthopedic surgeons, also operated on Pingris for his first ACL injury.
Pingris injured his knee while driving to the basket with 4:39 left in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the Magnolia-NLEX semifinal series last Saturday. He was rushed to The Medical City. On Sunday he underwent magnetic resonance imaging on his knee, and the results were analyzed by Dr. Canlas on Monday.
ACL injuries typically take seven or eight months to recuperate from, and Pingris could be sidelined for the rest of the 2018 PBA season. In Pingris's case, the timing was made even worse because he is in the last year of his contract. However, Pardo advised the cager, one of the most popular in the history of the franchise, not to worry about his contract situation.
"He's worried because it's his contract year but I told him not to worry about that and focus on getting better," Pardo said.