San Miguel Beer and Gilas Pilipinas center and reigning four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo has been diagnosed with a stress fracture on his shin and will not only miss a big chunk of the ongoing PBA Governors' Cup, but also the upcoming fourth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers this September.
The news was confirmed by SMB manager Gee Abanilla in a message to ESPN5's Renz Ongkiko.
"He developed a stress fracture in his right shin and this would require him to rest for six weeks for him to be able to heal properly and completely," Abanilla said. "We are doing everything we can to help June Mar recover as quickly as possible with the help of our doctors and physical therapists."
The injury all but rules out Fajardo suiting up for the Philippines in its FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers games against Iran in Tehran on September 13th and at home against Qatar on September 16th.
Speaking to ESPN5's Lyn Olavario at the end of the national team's practice in Jakarta, newly installed national coach Yeng Guiao said he wants to focus on the Asian Games first before worrying about choosing Fajardo's replacement for the FIBA games.
"I'm still focused on the Asian Games," Guiao said. "When we get back to the Philippines, that's when I'll think about it. That's just additional pressure and additional stress for me if I will worry about it now."
With a limited resource of big men, the Philippines will have barely three weeks to choose someone who can take Fajardo's place in the line-up. Fajardo was one of only three Philippine players who were not suspended in the wake of the Philippines-Australia brawl last July 2 at the Philippine Arena.