Denton: Davis Suffers Left Shoulder Sprain


By John Denton
December 20, 2012

ORLANDO – In the midst of a career year both as a go-to scorer and a first-time captain for the Orlando Magic, Glen Davis will have his season put on hold because of a shoulder injury.

Davis, who is averaging career highs in minutes (33), points (16), rebounds (7.9) and assists (1.8), badly sprained his left shoulder on Wednesday night when he was fouled by hard by Washington’s Emeka Okafor. The injury will not require surgery, but could keep Davis out of action for four to six weeks, although there is no definitive timetable for his return. A MRI conducted on Thursday showed no structural damage in Davis’ shoulder.

The injury occurred with 47.8 seconds remaining in the Magic’s 90-83 defeat of the Washington Wizards.

At the time of the injury, Davis sprained his left shoulder and ultimately had it popped back into place by team doctors. Davis stayed down on the floor for several minutes, biting his jersey, grimacing and writhing in pain.

``After further evaluation by our medical staff, Glen Davis has been diagnosed with a left shoulder sprain,’’ Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan said in a statement on Thursday. ``The MRI showed no significant structural damage. He will be treated non-operatively. Treatment will include rest and subsequent strengthening of the muscles around his shoulder. His return will depend on progress made during his rehabilitation.’’

The Magic (12-13) will be without Davis on Friday in Toronto against the Raptors (8-19). Both teams have won four games in a row, but the storyline will likely center on the two power forwards who are missing from the game – Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani and Davis – because of injuries.

Without Davis, Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn has a couple of different options available to him at power forward. He could promote rookie Andrew Nicholson, who has come on dramatically of late and averaged 7.4 points and 3.2 rebounds as a reserve. Josh McRoberts, who has shuttled back and forth this season between the two forward spots, is also an option. Or Vaughn could move reserve centers Gustavo Ayon or Kyle O’Quinn over to the power forward slots to give the Magic more size and rebounding along the frontline.

``I’m still going to continue to play hard regardless of this unfortunate event,’’ said Nicholson, who recently set career highs in points (19) and rebounds (nine) against Phoenix.

Hedo Turkoglu, who broke his hand in the season-opener and hasn’t played since, has begun shooting drills, but has yet to practice. Meanwhile, Al Harrington has yet to play this season following several knee surgeries in the offseason, but has resumed shooting drills. While Turkoglu, who can play both forward slots, is likely just days away from returning, Harrington’s timetable is still weeks away.

Davis’ injury comes at a time when both he and the Magic were playing some of their best basketball of the season. Orlando went 3-2 on a West Coast swing two weeks ago, including racking up impressive wins against the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State. The Magic lost their first home game after the trip, but have rebounded to since defeat Golden State, Charlotte, Minnesota and Washington. And with a win Friday in Toronto, the Magic can pull to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 in early November.

Davis, who had 23 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in the defeat of the Lakers on Dec. 2, scored at least 15 points in all five games of the West Coast road trip. And after battering Charlotte for 20 points on Saturday night, Davis turned in one of his most impressive performances of the season on Monday against Minnesota and all-star power forward Kevin Love.

Struggling much of the first half and irritated to the point that he picked up his first technical foul of the season late in the second quarter, Davis collected his emotions at halftime and led a second-half rally to wipe out a 15-point deficit. He made 10 of 11 shots and had five dunks in scoring 20 of his game-high 28 points in the second half of Orlando’s 102-93 defeat of the Timberwolves.

Davis struggled through a poor shooting night most of Wednesday, but still finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. He’s scored at least 20 points seven times and he’s had seven double-double games in points and rebounds.

``Everybody is key to this team because we’ve relied on everyone at different times,’’ Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick said Wednesday night. ``Glen has been great for us, but we need other guys now to step up. We have capable guys who can do it. I don’t expect us to drop off in any way. We are going to miss (Davis) if he’s out more than a couple of games, out a couple of weeks or whatever. But I know we have guys who will step up if he’s out.’’

Friday’s game will be a second homecoming of sorts for Nicholson, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, just outside of Toronto. Playing before approximately 150 family and friends, Nicholson had eight points and three rebounds in 16 minutes when the Magic lost in Toronto on Nov. 18. Nicholson used to attend Raptors’ games as a kid and dreamed of someday playing in the NBA. He admitted that the first time back there to play a NBA game was somewhat surreal.

``It was fun. Now, I’m just going to try to go back and get another win,’’ Nicholson said. ``A little bit (of nostalgic feeling), but I was more focused on the game. But maybe a little bit (those memories) came back to me.’’

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