TNT star Jayson Castro is bent on attacking his rehab as he's set to miss a few more weeks due to a right soleus muscle strain he sustained two weeks ago.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday after his just his third on-court work, Castro admitted that it has been his only focus after being ruled out for four to six weeks, which puts him out of action for the KaTropa and for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
"There's regret because the SEA Games is near, and then that happened. But that's unavoidable. I just need to focus on my rehab and then on my individual workouts and strengthening," he said in Filipino.
Castro doesn't have a clear timetable yet, but he assured that he'll make it in time for TNT's playoff run. The KaTropa have already locked up a quarterfinals slot with a 7-1 card.
"It's been one week since I started rehab. And this is the first time I did drills with the ball on the court. Next week, I might be able to join non-contact drills. I'll still have some rehabbing to do to test if it's really healing. So far, everything's OK and my body's recovering since I had to rest without basketball," the guard shared.
Expected to pick up the slack in his absence is new recruit Ray Parks, whom TNT traded for last Sunday. Castro appears to be high on Parks, whom he said has the capability to involve others even without sacrificing his own offense.
"Even before he came along, we've been talking because we were teammates in Gilas before. And then every time we met, we checked up on each other," Castro said of Parks.
"We're happy he's here because he's a big help, and at the same time we all know what he can bring to the team. That's a big factor," he added. "He can create for his teammates and he can draw attention. He can also score on one-on-one situations. That's great for us."
Parks, for his part, gladly accepts the challenge.
"Jayson's a huge part of our team and he's our leader. We go wherever he goes, that's for sure. And for (active team consultant Mark Dickel) to put that responsibility on me, all I can do is do my best," he said.
But Castro said once he returns, it will be a joint effort on offense -- something he believes could be done since ultimately, the team only has one goal in mind.
"We'll help each other out since I still can't relax on the court," said Castro. "We're all professional here, and the great thing about coach Mark is we have open communication here. And we only have one goal: to make it to the semis, and then from the semis let's see if we can still barge into the finals again."