Magic All-Star center Nikola Vucevic diagnosed with ankle sprain, will be reevaluated in 7-10 days
Aaron Gordon also tweaked his ankle on Wednesday night, and his return will depend how he responds to treatment
The Orlando Magic have not gotten out to the start they wanted to this season. They're 6-8, possess the league's second-slowest offense and have difficulty cracking 100 points on most nights. After making the playoffs last season, with hopes of getting there again, it hasn't been an easy going for Steve Clifford's team.
Recently, though, the Magic appeared to be hitting a high note. After winning three straight games, which was kick started by a 112-97 win against the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando looked to be hitting its stride, with Evan Fournier, Markelle Fultz and Nikola Vucevic all playing well. Unfortunately, that progress came to a screeching halt on Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors, as both Vucevic, the Magic's lone All-Star player from a season ago, and forward Aaron Gordon left the contest with ankle injuries. Vucevic's injury occurred during the second quarter when he landed awkwardly following a block attempt. He needed help walking to the locker room afterward.
On Thursday, the Magic announced that Vucevic underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a right lateral ankle sprain and will be reevaluated in 7-10 days. The team also announced that Gordon is dealing with a right ankle contusion, and that his return to action depends on his response to treatment.
After the game against Toronto, Vucevic told reporters he wasn't sure how exactly his ankle injury occurred.
"It was really painful when it happened," Vucevic said. "I'm not sure if I stepped on his [Norman Powell] foot, [or if] my leg got tangled up in his leg. It was really painful. It's hard for me to put any pressure on [it], so we'll see."
Vucevic got X-rays on his ankle, and thankfully the exam showed no fracture, as reported by The Athletic's Josh Robbins.
This is a huge blow for an Orlando team that looked like it was starting to figure things out. Vucevic has been the Magic's best player this season, averaging 17.1 points and 11.6 rebounds. Without Vucevic off the floor, Orlando's offensive rating dips from 111.5 to 92.0, so losing him will be incredibly detrimental.
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