Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac are progressing towards a return to the court for the Magic, writes Dan Savage on the team’s website.
Isaac initially injured his knee in January of 2020, missed several months, and then returned during the Orlando bubble before suffering a torn ACL in August of 2020. Fultz also sustained a torn left ACL, in January of 2021, eight games into last season.
Although Fultz’ injury occurred five months later, it appears he’s closer to making his season debut. President Jeff Weltman says the point guard has begun practicing with the team’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic.
“As they have their occasional checkups with doctors, and they have imaging, I can just tell you they’re both moving forward and they’re doing great,” Weltman explained. “I can tell you that Markelle, we just sent him down this week to start practicing with Lakeland because they’ll have more live-action situations than we’ll have in the middle of an NBA season. So, he’s starting to ramp up to that phase where he’s actually starting to get involved in some live action. Jonathan isn’t at that point yet, but he continues to make great, steady progress and they’re both doing really well.”
Fultz says he feels good and is eager to return to the NBA court.
“I’m very excited with where I am at and where I am going,” he explained. “It’s the next step in the process. When I first got injured, it was all about steps. Knowing it’s going to be a long journey but taking it one step at a time. Right now, I’m in the process of getting back into things, bumping, and getting up and down. Getting my conditioning right. Like I said, I feel really good.”
Weltman says Isaac is working to gain strength in his entire body, not just rehab his knee, and has improved his shot during his long hiatus.
“It’s everything. There’s a right way to do this and the most important thing for Jonathan is not just that we address the injury, but his whole body,” Weltman said. “He’s missed essentially two years of action and there’s a lot that comes with that. So, making sure that his body is balanced, that it’s strengthened everywhere, that his core is tight. In the meantime, he’s using the time very productively. His body is filling out, his shot looks way improved from the last time he was on the court, and he’s in a really good place.”
Neither player has a timetable for return. There are some more interesting quotes in the article for Magic fans curious about how the two players are doing.
Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:
- Joel Embiid (COVID recovery) and Tobias Harris (hip) are both questionable for the Sixers‘ home game tomorrow against Minnesota, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter).
- Andre Iguodala is traveling with the Warriors on their road trip, but he’s not expected to play against the Clippers (Sunday) or Suns (Tuesday), according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Iguodala is still dealing with swelling around his right knee, although it’s not considered serious.
- T.J. Warren has been doing some light court work and shooting with the Pacers recently, writes Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. There should be another update on his status next Tuesday, Nov. 30.