Magic power forward Al Harrington has been out all season recovering from a staph infection in his right knee, and Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld hears that he probably won't play this season and is considering retirement because of the knee issue (Twitter link). Harrington underwent routine arthroscopic surgery in May to repair torn meniscus cartilege in the knee, and was expected to return to the court within six weeks, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel documented last month. Instead, he began feeling sick two days after the procedure, and has since undergone four more surgeries. He's considering suing the doctors who performed the original surgery, Kyler tweets.
Just last week, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reported that Harrington was intent on returning before the February 21st trade deadline, and had expressed a desire to play five more seasons. Kyler notes that the latest news about Harrington hasn't been confirmed by the team or Harrington himself (Twitter link). The Magic acquired the 32-year-old power forward as part of the Dwight Howard trade this summer. Harrington is making $6.687MM this year and has two seasons and more than $14.7MM left on his deal through 2015, though the final two years are only 50% guaranteed.
If Harrington retires, the Magic may be ineligible to apply to have Harrington's salary taken off their books, as teams can do in cases of medical retirement, because the infection first occurred while he was still a member of the Nuggets. The same could be true if the Magic try to pursue a disabled player exception, which would allow them to sign a replacement for Harrington at 50% of his salary this season if he is to miss the entire year. It would be up to the league to determine whether the severity of the issue was known, or should have been known, at the time of the trade.