NOVEMBER 4: Carter will undergo surgery on his left hand and will be reevaluated in about three weeks, the Magic announced (via Twitter).
NOVEMBER 3: An injury to center Wendell Carter Jr. marred an otherwise encouraging road win in Utah for the Magic on Thursday night. According to the team (Twitter link), Carter broke the third metacarpal in his left hand during a fall in the final seconds of the victory while he was fighting for a rebound.
The Magic have yet to provide a recovery timeline for Carter, but it seems safe to assume the injury will cause him to miss time. As Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel notes, the Cleveland Clinic states that most people who sustain a metacarpal fracture require the hand to be immobilized for at least three weeks. Surgery is sometimes necessary to repair the fracture.
Carter had been the Magic’s starting center for the first five games this season, averaging 9.4 points and 8.6 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per night. He was off to a cold start as a shooter (.378/.313/.571), but is a key piece in Orlando’s frontcourt and will be missed during his absence.
The Magic issued two more injury updates on Thursday night, announcing (via Twitter) that Markelle Fultz missed Thursday’s game due to swelling in his left knee, while Gary Harris suffered a strained right groin in Utah. Both players will be reevaluated upon returning to Orlando, per the club.
As with Carter, there’s no clarity yet on when Fultz or Harris will be healthy enough to play, but it appears the Magic’s depth will be tested early on this season. The team is off to a 3-2 start.