EJ Obiena completes knee surgery

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) – Filipino pole vault sensation EJ Obiena confirmed on Wednesday he went under the knife for his knee issues.

"Surgery was successful. They have cleaned the meniscus and have removed the screw on my knee from the ACL reconstruction back in 2017 as the bone graft has fully solidified," Obiena posted on his social media pages.

His successful knee surgery is timely as Obiena gears up for his first tournament of the year: the Init Indoor Meeting set for Jan. 28 in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The Asian pole vault record holder thanked all those who supported him in his surgery, including Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez.

"I am also thankful for Chairman Butch Ramirez announcing yesterday that funds for my surgery are available. I may be able to use this money once available to me to reimburse the advances of good Samaritans," Obiena said.

Obiena is expected to compete in at least five major tournaments this year, including defending his Southeast Asian Games title and the Asian Games.

However, the 25-year-old pole vaulter is still in the midst of a dispute with national athletics governing body Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

PATAFA has accused Obiena of embezzlement for allegedly failing to pay his Ukrainian coach. Obiena has repeatedly denied the allegation and claimed the organization has been harassing him.

Obiena was previously dropped from the national team by PATAFA, but the national athletics body deferred its plan.

Ramirez requested Obiena to submit himself to mediation with PATAFA, which on Tuesday confirmed its participation in the process.