Payne fractured his hand in early October, but made his return on Nov. 27, tallying 26 points in his debut. The decision to recall the big man is due to Aaron Gordon suffering a concussion in Friday's loss to the Nuggets. While he is expected to provide depth in the frontcourt, it remains to be seen if he will get any time in the rotation.
Payne suffered a fractured bone in his left hand and is out indefinitely.
Payne is currently on a two-way contract with the Magic, so he likely wouldn't have seen a bunch of action in the big league anyway. Still, it's a tough blow for Payne, as he was also limited to just 18 games last season with the Timberwolves while receiving treatment for a low platelet count. Payne's recovery depends on how he responds to treatment, so he can be considered out indefinitely for the time being until further information is provided.
Payne has spent the last two and half season in Minnesota, but is coming off a 2016-17 campaign where he played in just 18 games. The bulk of those absences were due to thrombocytopenia, which is a disorder related to a low-platelet count in the bloodstream, but he's since been cleared for basketball activity. That said, Payne largely struggled to field interest during free agency and will have to settle for a two-way deal, which means he'll spend the majority of the upcoming campaign with the Magic's G-League affiliate.
Payne finished with three rebounds and one steal across six minutes during Monday's 110-109 victory over the Trail Blazers.
Payne has only played in three games since being available to return from a blood disorder March 8. In those three games, he's averaged 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds across 7.0 minutes per game. At this point in the season, it appears that the Timberwolves' rotation is mostly set in stone, only allowing Payne spotty minutes. He can safely be ignored in seemingly every fantasy format unless he starts garnering at least a consistent 15 to 20 minutes per night, which is doubtful.
Payne (illness) will be available to play in Wednesday's matchup with the Clippers.
Payne, who hasn't taken the court since the start of February, was cleared to practice in full Tuesday and is presumably back to full strength. However, he hasn't been a regular contributor this season even when healthy and is even more unlikely to garner much playing time now that he's coming off a prolonged absence.
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