Alyssa Valdez: ‘long way to go’ in recovery from knee injury

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Alyssa Valdez during a therapy session. –ALYSSA VALDEZ INSTAGRAM

MANILA, Philippines — Alyssa Valdez said there’s still a “long way to go” in her recovery from a right knee injury with a few days left before Creamline’s title-retention bid in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference opens next week at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Valdez, though, said “slow progress is still progress” as shared a series of photos about her ongoing therapy on Instagram as she is only limited to rehabilitation exercises while watching the Cool Smashers in practice.

“I was so scared to take that first step, single leg squats and a lot more exercises. Grabe!! Just grateful to all the people who have been supporting and helping me – my doctors, [physical therapist] and my Cool Smashers family,” the three-time MVP wrote on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old spiker added that her teammates boost her morale on her road to recovery.

“Even I was doing my therapy during training time and watching my [teammates], it gives me hope to be back on court in no time. I hope you find that something that will inspire and motivate you — it could be the smallest thing or situation in front of you. Fighting,” she said.

Valdez hurt her right knee last December 10 when it hit the floor hard while going for a dig in Creamline’s bronze-clinching five-set win over Chery Tiggo in the 2022 Reinforced Conference.

The former Ateneo star didn’t need to undergo surgery but she needs several weeks to recover.

However, the timetable for her comeback is still unclear for the All-Filipino Conference with the Cool Smashers battling Reinforced champion Petro Gazz on opening day next week at the Big Dome.

Jia De Guzman will be the Creamline skipper, while wing spikers Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza need to embrace bigger responsibilities as Valdez continues to recover.

In the AVC Cup for Women and Asean Grand Prix, the Cool Smashers played without their superstar due to dengue as coach Sherwin Meneses converted Carlos into an open spiker and promoted Michele Gumabao as a starting opposite hitter . The resulted in a 6th place finish for the Creamline in the country’s hosting of the continental tournament before ending up last place in the three-day regional tournament in Thailand.

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