Kelly Williams out of Gilas with MCL injury

MANILA, Philippines – Another man down.

Forward Kelly Williams will miss his would-be return to Gilas Pilipinas with an MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury, Talk 'N Text and Gilas teammates Ranidel de Ocampo confirmed Wednesday, August 5.

"MCL si Kelly (Kelly injured his MCL). Rest lang (He'll just rest), no surgery needed," De Ocampo told Rappler in a text message. "All-Filipino Cup na siya (He'll be back in the All-Filipino Cup)."

Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, however, told Rappler that the 33-year old Williams will still meet with renowned doctor Raul Canlas on Wednesday.

De Ocampo, who is also sitting out national team practices due to a hamstring injury, was right beside Williams the entire time after the latter slipped on a wet spot just as Gilas' first full practice was about to begin Monday night, August 3.

Williams was visibly in immense pain and clutched his right knee for a good amount of time as he laid on the floor. De Ocampo and team staff lifted Williams off of the court and onto a chair, where Williams never lifted his head from his hands.

De Ocampo helped Williams off the court as he was taken to the hospital for an MRI.

"I feel sick for Kelly. You hate that," head coach Tab Baldwin expressed his concern after Monday's practice, even telling players during their post-practice huddle to pray for Williams.

"He stepped on a wet spot. That can happen anywhere in the world, in any gym in the world. I just feel for him."

Williams aired his disappointment over the unfortunate incident as well on Twitter.

Thank u guys for the prayers. So disappointed. But God is good, life is good, and I WILL rise higher again. — Kelly Williams (@KelWilliams21) August 3, 2015

The 6-foot-7 2008 PBA MVP was named to this year's Gilas pool after previous stints with the national team that participated in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan.

This Gilas squad set to compete in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, Hunan, China this September is also without back-to-back MVP June Mar Fajardo, who reportedly decided to beg off from duty due to a nagging plantar fasciitis injury.

Guard LA Tenorio also took a leave of absence citing fatigue and health reasons, while forward Marc Pingris also could not join practices due to a scheduled trip to France. – Rappler.com