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“DOWN but not out.”
Filipino world No. 6 pole-vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena posted these words on his Facebook account right after his operation to repair a minor meniscus tear on his left knee went well on Wednesday.
“Surgery was successful,” said the 26-year-old Mr. Obiena. “They have cleaned the meniscus and have removed the screw on my knee from the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction back in 2017 as the bone graft has fully solidified.”
The Olympian and Asian record-holder is optimistic he will recover in time for a meet late this month.
“It shouldn’t affect my recovery and we’re still on and aiming for my 28th of January competition,” he said.
Mr. Obiena thanked the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and all the people who helped finance the operation.
“Thank you very much to everyone who helped and supported me to make this surgery possible. I am also thankful to (Philippine Sport Commission) chairman Butch Ramirez for announcing yesterday (Tuesday) that funds for my surgery are available,” said Mr. Obiena.
“I may be able to use this money once available to me to reimburse the advances of good Samaritans,” he added.
Mr. Obiena did not mention though if he will sign the PSC mediation papers that would help resolve the issue concerning him and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.
But he vowed to reach greater heights this year.
“My most immediate task is to get healthy and get back on track so that I can compete again for the country. Everything else is priority number 2. Time for work to be done,” he said. — Joey Villar