Marc Pingris probably won't see action until March.
Pingris told ESPN5 he continues to strengthen his left knee after suffering an ACL (anterior crucible ligament) tear in Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
The Magnolia Hotshots forward said he just started jogging this month and continues to do knee rehab and will remain unavailable for scrimmages.
"Maybe (I'll be able to play) in March, but as of now, I'm still doing rehab on my knee," Pingris said.
Though he doesn't feel any pain in his knee when running, he said he is unable to do any kind of lateral movements due to his MCL (medial collateral ligament).
"I just can't return to action quick because my injury was both tear of my ACL and MCL, which is why when I do lateral movement, there's pain," he explained.
Pingris, however, remains confident that his teammates can hold the fort while he continues to miss the games in the early stages of the 2019 Philippine Cup.
He believes the team's 2018 Governors' Cup championship brought added confidence and experience to the players, and he expects local big men Ian Sangalang, Rodney Brondial, Rafi Reavis, Rome Dela Rosa and rookie Michael Calisaan to work together in his absence.
"It's a matter of playing with a lot of heart because we all know that the talent is already there," stressed Pingris. "Hopefully, the team can surpass the effort they showed when we won the title last season. We can't be complacent or be overconfident."