Jack Animam is well on her way to recovery despite the turbulent couple of months she experienced.
Back on November 8, Animam was supposed to play her eighth game with Radnički in the First Women’s Basketball League of Serbia. But disaster struck during the warm-ups.
“It was during warm-up and we were doing a one-on-one,” she recalled on Play It Right TV. “When I hopped, it slipped then my left knee went straight, just straight.”
There was no pop. The 6-foot-3 Filipina was also able to muster the strength to walk herself to the bench.
Animam did not suit up against Partisan, fearing that the injury might get worse if she did.
After getting an MRI in Serbia, she received devastating news – a fully torn anterior cruciate ligament, a fully torn medial cruciate ligament, and a torn meniscus.
Still, her agency East West Private did due diligence to get a second opinion from a doctor in their home base in Ohio.
On doctor’s advice, she immediately flew to the States. There she found out that her MCL and meniscus were fully intact and that it was “only” her ACL that suffered a tear.
“Sabi nga nila, a minor setback for greater things ahead,” she beamed. “I’m just really looking at the situation, as the silver lining of this. Like, maybe this is the time to heal. I have more time to heal, more time to prepare, more time to improve on the areas that I’m still lacking.
“I’m just excited about this journey and I can’t wait. I’m really looking forward.”
ACL tears usually take a full nine months to recover from. But with the treatment Animam is getting, she and EWP believe that it will be much shorter.
Still, Animam laments that she can’t join Gilas Women’s in Hanoi for their Southeast Asian Games title defense this May.
Animam, though, won’t miss the Asian Games in Hangzhou this September.
“Coach Pat (Aquino), kapag may Asian Games tayo ah,” she quipped. “Because the doctor already told me that by September or whenever the Asian Games, I think I’m ready by that time.”
Still, Aquino is not pressuring his ward to come back, wanting her to take her time to recover.
“I’m not pressuring her to come back early.
“I know it’s better to rehab, fully recover, and play more extended time with Gilas and your professional career, definitely. That’s a very big factor here,” he said.
Despite the injury Animam experienced, EWP claims that they have still been receiving offers from all over the world, inquiring about their player’s service.
After all, the native of Bulacan still posted numbers of 17.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals during her seven-game stint with Radnički.
“After the injury, the offers still came in,” said Patty Scott, CEO of EWP. “The teams know, they realized that where she’s at, where she’s going to be. But most importantly, they saw her performance, and they know she’ll be even stronger when she comes back.
“She has received interest from the EuroLeague, she has offers in Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia.”
The top priority remains – to be part of the Women’s National Basketball Association Draft.
“Obviously, she’s still focused on the WNBA, so it’ll be interesting,” she said.
“We’ll have to take one day at a time to determine what we do with the draft here this year, and what the teams want to do.”