Magic forward Aaron Gordon, who has missed the last 15 games with a sprained left ankle, has been cleared to return to the floor for Orlando as they face off against the Heat, their fellow Floridians, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. The Magic have a 5-10 record in their 15 most recent contests without Gordon.
Chiang adds (Twitter link) that Orlando head coach Steve Clifford has stated that Gordon will start for the team, but will be playing on a minutes restriction as he eases his way back into game shape.
Through 19 games this season (all starts), the 25-year-old is averaging 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.8 BPG and 0.7 SPG in just 29.1 MPG. Gordon is in the third season of a four-year, $80MM contract he inked with the Magic in the summer of 2018.
Gordon’s return to game action will be a welcome one for an injury-depleted Magic club that is missing starters Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz for the season due to knee injuries. Rookie point guard Cole Anthony and veteran wings Terrence Ross, James Ennis III and Evan Fournier are all out tonight with various maladies, but are expected to return soon.
Teams around the NBA also figure to be keeping a close eye on Gordon during the next week or two to assess his health, since he could be a popular trade target at this month’s deadline.