MANILA, Philippines – Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena announced on Wednesday, January 12, that his knee surgery was successful and is aiming to return to sporting action on January 28.
Obiena needed to fix issues in his meniscus and the doctors removed the screw from his ACL injury in 2017.
“Surgery was successful. They have cleaned the meniscus and have removed the screw on my knee from the ACL reconstruction back in 2017 as the bone graft has fully solidified. It shouldn’t affect my recovery and we’re still on and aiming for 28th of January competition,” wrote Obiena on social media.
The Philippine Sport Commission (PSC) announced on Tuesday, January 11, that it approved the funding for Obiena’s latest surgery.
But Obiena, whose funding was stopped since August 31, said that he would use the money to pay back his private backers who initially shouldered his surgery.
“Thank you very much for everyone who helped and supported me to make this surgery possible as early as yesterday. I am also thankful for Chairman Butch Ramirez announcing yesterday that funds for my surgery is available. I may be able to use this money once available to me to reimburse the advances of good samaritans,” added Obiena.
Obiena, the Asian record holder is slated to compete in the Init Indoor Meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany starting on January 28.
This is part of his warm-up for the Asian Indoor Athletics Championship, which will run from February 11 to 13 in Kazakhstan, included in his schedule.
Though Obiena is in the midst of an ongoing dispute with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), he is technically still able to represent the Philippines in the World Athletics-accredited meet as the local federation deferred his expulsion.
PATAFA, who investigated Obiena over his funding issues, announced last January 4 that it would drop Obiena from the national team and was set to charge him with estafa.
Obiena is currently ranked No. 5 in the world and became the first Filipino to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, where he finished 11th in the quadrennial meet. – Rappler.com