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Kai rejoining national team practices soon

Kai Sotto will be welcomed back with open arms by Gilas Pilipinas | Photograph by REY JOBLE FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

Kai Sotto’s road to full recovery is right on track.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas yesterday declared that the 7-3 Sotto will rejoin the practice sessions once Gilas Pilipinas returns from China where it is currently competing in a pocket tournament.

“He’s welcome to join the team’s practice upon their return from China “ said SBP president Al Panlilio in a statement released by the association on Saturday.

“After being informed of Kai Sotto’s injury, the SBP is just waiting for him to submit his MRI results, attesting that he’s 100% fit to play before signing his contract,” he said.

Sotto suited up for the Orlando Magic during the National Basketball Association Summer League last month in Las Vegas but hurt himself during the final game.

He flew back to Manila immediately after but was unable to practice with the team despite showing up in the venue thrice, citing his nagging back pain.

The player’s father, former player Ervin Sotto, revealed that his son is halfway through the required 12  sessions.

“He had already undergone six rehab sessions,” he said via Messenger to Daily Tribune.

Panlilio said the SBP has to be given a copy of Sotto’s rehab sessions before being allowed to get in.

Sotto sustained a back injury after his last game with Boston Celtics during the Summer League. His camp said that he has been undergoing rehab therapy since he came back from the United States.

While he is badly needed to beef up Gilas, the SBP is not rushing his recovery.

As Gilas Pilipinas awaits Sotto’s recovery, Jordan Clarkson, a vital part of the team’s bold bid in the 25 August to 10 September cagefest, is arriving this coming week to begin practicing.

He was supposed to join the China series but he reportedly encountered problems obtaining a visa.

Gilas is bracketed in Group A of along with Dominican Republic, Italy, and Angola. They will face the  Dominican Republic led by Karl Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves on opening day on 25 August before an expected record-setting crowd of more than 50,000 at the Philippine Arena.

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