The Magic have decided to withhold rookie forward Jonathan Isaac from game action indefinitely while the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft tries to fully recover from a stubborn right ankle sprain suffered back on November 11, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
Isaac missed 17 consecutive games after initially injuring the ankle before returning to action on December 17. Isaac then reaggravated the injury on December 20, causing him to miss two more games on December 22 and 23. Isaac then returned the day after Christmas, but continued to have problems with his ankle.
Magic officials have put Isaac on a rehabilitation and conditioning program to help him continue his development while out with injury. When specifically asked how Isaac’s development has been impacted by the injury, head coach Frank Vogel stated, “It’s hampered him a lot, but mentally he’s still being taught the game and still being kept engaged in everything. There’s still development. There’s still growing. There’s still experience happening. It’s just a lot slower than it would be if he was in there.”
Vogel also commented on the decision to sit Isaac (per Robbins), stating “It’s really just about getting him to where he’s at his best and not yo-yoing him in and out of games and having him re-tweak it. [We want to] strengthen the ankle and strengthen his legs and conditioning so that it’s not an issue anymore.”
Isaac, 20, had been averaging 5.3 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 15 games during his rookie season.