Nikola Vucevic To Return This Afternoon

Magic officials have stated that center Nikola Vucevic has been ruled active and available to suit up today against the Pelicans for the first time in 11 games, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Vucevic had been inactive since suffering a right ankle sprain in a 113-97 loss to the Raptors on November 20th.

Additionally, head coach Steve Clifford tells Robbins that Vucevic will face a minutes restriction, in accordance with the wishes of the team’s sports medicine specialists.

“(High performance director) David (Tenney) will watch him. (Head trainer) Earnest (Eugene) will watch him,” Clifford said, per The Orlando Sentinel’s Roy Parry (Twitter link). “He won’t play his regular minutes, but he’s going to play significant number, too.”

Vucevic, 29, was Orlando’s best player during the 2018/19 season, and received his first All-Star nod as the team went 42-40. They were defeated 4-1 in the first round of the 2019 playoffs by the eventual champion Raptors. It was Clifford’s first year on the sidelines with the Magic. Orlando is currently the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference with an 11-14 record thus far this season.

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