LA Tenorio's Iron Man streak in jeopardy as guard recovers from appendectomy

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CLARK -- LA Tenorio is hoping to keep his PBA Iron Man streak alive even as he continues to recover from an emergency laparoscopic appendectomy. The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel point guard finally made it to the PBA Bubble inside Quest Plus Hotel here in Clark, Pampanga, Wednesday afternoon, where he is now in isolation while awaiting the result of his swab test.

The 36-year-old veteran has proven to be the most durable player in the PBA as he has not missed a single contest since he was selected fourth overall in the 2006 PBA Rookie Draft.

Tenorio bared that he felt pain in his stomach two weeks ago during a Zoom workout with his Barangay Ginebra teammates. He initially though it was from food-poisoning but quickly figured it was something else when the pain lingered and kept him awake.

Knowing that all signs were pointing to appendicitis, Tenorio went to the hospital where he was immediately confined for the operation.

"I'm still thankful that it did not happen inside the bubble because I will disturb a lot of people if it happened here," Tenorio shared in Filipino. "It's still tough because my doctor isn't here and my family also worries about me but I'm currently day-to-day. I don't know yet if I'll be ready for Sunday."

It usually takes 24-48 hours before the result of the swab test comes out but Tenorio is hoping the process could be sped up so he could rejoin his team in practice even if he won't be suiting up just yet.

"I've been talking to my doctor. He's asking me if there's still discharge but he told me that I'm physically okay because I can already use my core. It's just the wound outside that has to heal. I will try. Hopefully, by Friday or Saturday, I could do some treadmill or biking."

The past couple of weeks have been very hectic for the Tenorio household as they welcomed a new member to their family his wife Chesca gave birth one week before the guard's operation. Tenorio bared that this series of events made him think twice about joining the PBA bubble.

"It was a hard decision to make. We had second thoughts about joining the bubble because we don't know how my body was going to react because it's the first time I underwent an operation. But when the doctor assured us that the healing process would take two to three weeks, then we decided to push through," he said. "I may miss a game but it's not how we start but how we finish."

Right now, Tenorio really could not control the circumstances of their opening game against the NLEX Road Warriors on Sunday as it's very difficult to guess how well his wound will heal by that point. Still, Tenorio knows that his presence alone would already be helpful for his teammates.

"Even If I won't be able to play, I still wanted to be here with the team. As one of the leaders of the team, I know it's important for my teammates to see me. Just being here for to support them," he said. Moreover, he knew just how important the PBA Bubble is for the league moving forward.

"I wanted to support the PBA and support Commissioner Willie (Marcial) also. I was one of the voices from the players to help make this happen. We worked on this together so I wanted to be here."

Tenorio has played 641 consecutive games in the PBA. On October 11, he might have to pass the mantle of PBA's Iron Man to Magnolia's Mark Barroca. However, Tenorio doesn't want to be written off just yet.

"It might just be adrenaline but don't be surprised if I play on Sunday."