La Salle big man Samuel likely out for two months
MANILA, Philippines – More bad news for the De La Salle Green Archers.
After losing its UAAP Season 81 opener against the FEU Tamaraws this past weekend, DLSU will have to play probably the remainder of the men’s basketball elimination round without its Kiwi big man Taane Samuel.
The 6-foot-8 Samuel, who was brought in to replace reigning UAAP MVP Ben Mbala, injured his left foot in the first half against FEU and was unable to return to the game. He finished with only two points and two rebounds in his anticipated debut. (READ: La Salle's Taane Samuel suffers foot injury in first UAAP game)
According to a source who requested for anonymity, Samuel has a stress fracture that will keep him out of action up to two months after an operation and rehabilitation.
DLSU head coach Louie Gonzales gave an idea this would be the case after the Green Archers’ loss to the Tamaraws.
“Samuel, natuluyan… Kasi may stress fracture eh (Looks like Samuel is out due to stress fracture),” he said.
Rappler reached out to Gonzales a day after DLSU’s season debut for an update on Samuel’s condition, to which he responded: “We are still waiting for the result and recommendation of doctors. We will announce before the game on Saturday.”
The source told Rappler that Samuel actually started experiencing discomfort on his left foot a few weeks after La Salle returned from an offseason tournament in South Korea.
There were even rumors days prior to La Salle’s debut that Samuel would miss the contest and some more time due to the pain on his foot, which were debunked when he suited up for the Green Archers.
But by the current looks of things, it seems like the New Zealander aggravated his past injury.
A double-double machine for DLSU in the preseason, La Salle will obviously miss Samuel’s contribution but still has enough big man depth to make up for his absence with the likes of Santi Santillan, Justine Baltazar, Brandon Bates, and Mark Dyke.
However, the Green Archers lined up only 13 players on their roster for Season 81, which means another major injury or two to the other players would put the team in a dire situation.
If Samuel misses up to two months, that will put his return sometime during the end of the elimination round or the start of the Final Four, depending on the league’s schedule. – Rappler.com