MANILA, Philippines — Kim Fajardo hardly missed a beat despite being away from volleyball for two years due to her recurring right knee injury.
Fajardo made her comeback in the crucial part of the second set and helped F2 Logistics complete a sweep of defending champion Chery Tiggo, 25-16, 25-23, 25-22, for a second straight win in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference on Friday at Paco Arena.
The multi-awarded playmaker was surprised when coach Benson Bocboc called her number in that stretch, but Fajardo still delivered the crucial plays to escape the tough challenge of the Crossovers and displayed her brilliance in the third to finish with 11 excellent sets and two points.
“I didn’t expect to play because I haven’t joined my teammates in full practice. But it feels good to play for the first time after two years. I’m okay with the outcome of my first game but there is still room for improvement,” Fajardo said.
“I’m just glad to see that the system and our familiarity are still there. I just need more time to train with them together and polish everything,” she added.
The 28-year-old playmaker missed the volleyball scene since the pandemic, followed by F2 Logistics’ sudden-pullout in last year’s PVL due to injuries. She was sidelined during her team’s perfect title run in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League because of the treatment on her right knee.
Fajardo was glad that his coach and teammates trusted her on her first PVL game though she is not rushing her way to regain her peak form.
“So far, so good. But I have to work slowly and gradually. I can’t play a whole game for now,” she said. “I am still cautious of my knee. I think I’m not yet 100 percent. But I’m doing good with my therapy and conditioning.”
“Patience is key. Because when it comes to injury it’s hard to see my teammates doing full practice daily and playing, while I’m on the other side working on my recovery and conditioning,” she added.
Since the former national team star is still a wait-and-see on her availability in playing full matches, she believes that F2 Logistics is in good hands with new setter Iris Tolenada.
“Iris is there for the team. She is super good,” said Fajardo. “It’s a healthy competition between us. We share our suggestions to each other when there is something that needs to be adjusted inside the court.”
Fajardo hopes she will be healthy in the final stretch of this short Open Conference.
F2 Logistics currently holds the solo Pool A lead after winning its first two games. It only needs to win one of its last two games against Cignal (1-0) on Sunday and Choco Mucho (1-0) on Thursday to secure the twice-to-beat advantage heading to the quarterfinals.
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