Denton: Davis, Harrington & Moore Practice
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly as welcomed a sight as Saturday’s stirring victory that snapped a 10-game skid, the Orlando Magic got another inspirational shot in the arm on Sunday with the returns of Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis, Al Harrington and E’Twaun Moore to practice.
By John Denton
January 13, 2013
Whether or not Davis, Harrington and/or Moore play Monday night when the Magic (13-23) face the Washington Wizards (6-28) is yet to be seen. But their returns to the team on Sunday gave the Magic encouragement and the belief that they are finally about to be whole again.
The irony for the Magic is that both Davis (sprained left shoulder) and Moore (sprained left elbow) were injured earlier in the season in different games against the Wizards, and now they could possibly be back in action to face Washington again.
Harrington almost certainly won’t play on Monday. Davis is close to returning after three weeks of rehabilitation, while Moore is the most likely to play against the Wizards.
``It’s a wonderful feeling to be back and be around the team,’’ Davis said. ``I watched a lot of close battles and it hurt to know that you could have done something to turn the game the other way. I did as much rehab as I could and now it’s just about how I feel. We’ll see.’’
The Magic played one of their most inspiring games of the season on Saturday, rallying from eight points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the surging Los Angeles Clippers 104-101. It was the team’s first win since Dec. 19 and it ended the franchise’s longest losing streak since the 2003-04 season.
It was also the Magic’s first victory since Davis went down with his injury. Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said the team got a spark from seeing the returning players again, and their status for the game will be determined on Monday.
``We all introduced ourselves again and it was good to have them with us here,’’ Vaughn said. ``They attended and did some portions of practice. ... It’s good to have those guys here. Glen played a little bit of one-on-one at the end of practice.’’
Davis dislocated his left shoulder in the final seconds of a victory against the Washington Wizards on Dec. 19. Tests revealed no major structural damage in the shoulder and Davis spent the past three-plus weeks working to rehabilitate and strengthen the sprain in his shoulder.
The Magic were 12-13 and riding a four-game winning streak at the time of Davis’ injury, but they have fallen on hard times since their fiery power forward hit the floor last month. What made Davis’ injury so difficult for the Magic was that the power forward was enjoying the best season of his pro career. At the time of his injury he was averaging 16 points and 7.9 rebounds a game, while leading the team in scoring and rebounding 10 times apiece.
Harrington, who was acquired in the August trade between the Magic, Lakers, Nuggets and Sixers, has yet to play this season after having four knee surgeries over the summer. Harrington, a 14-year NBA veteran, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee, but then needed three more procedures because of a Staph infection. ``I’m feeling good, running and got a finger-tip dunk today,’’ Harrington said with a laugh. ``So I’m getting there.’’
Moore sprained his left elbow in a loss in Washington two weeks ago when his arm was pinned on the floor following a scrum for a loose ball. He has worked out with the team the last few days and will likely wear a brace to protect his still-tender left elbow. Vaughn said that while the three returning players are far from being fully ready to play it is an encouraging sign that the Magic are getting closer to being whole as a team. The hope is that with the returns of Davis and Moore and the debut of Harrington that the Magic can return to the winning ways that made them one of the NBA’s surprise teams early in the season.
``I just focus on what we have right now, but it would be great to have a full roster and deal with that,’’ Vaughn said. ``But we’re not there yet. The guys that are playing have to have their concentration levels and their approach ready.’’
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