Denton: Solomon Jones Suffers Major Knee Injury
By John Denton
Nov. 1, 2013
ORLANDO – Solomon Jones’ feel-good story with the Orlando Magic has been put on hold for the time being.
Jones, who grew up in the Orlando suburb of Mount Dora and rooted for the Magic as a child, made the team’s Opening Night roster with some solid play during the preseason. However, Jones suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee during Wednesday’s 120-115 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jones underwent a MRI on his ailing knee on Thursday and it revealed the structural damage. He will have a second opinion in the coming days and likely undergo arthroscopic knee surgery. His return is unknown until the extent of the injury is evaluated through surgery.
``It’s definitely frustrating (hearing about the torn meniscus) when you’ve put in as much work and time as I have and something happens like this,’’ Jones said. ``But it’s kind of good that it happened early and it’s nothing too serious. Hopefully we can get it taken care of. But I am going to be here for the guys and show them my support and give them all of the knowledge that I know.’’
The Magic kept Jones on the roster because of his versatility, toughness and professionalism and he showed those facets off by playing through the pain in his knee on Wednesday night. Jones said an unidentified player fell into his knee in the second quarter, causing his leg to hyperextend. His knee was in a lot of pain, but he didn’t think the injury was too serious to leave the game.
``I felt the pain. I ran up and down the court a couple of times and it was painful, but I just played through it,’’ Jones said. ``After that I didn’t really feel it and I guess it was the adrenaline. But after the game it was real sore. … At that point in time, I didn’t want to come out and I didn’t think it was that serious to come out. I just fought through it and finished the game.’’
The loss of Jones is another blow for a Magic team that is already without Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis and Tobias Harris along the frontline. Davis is still rehabilitating his surgically repaired left foot and hasn’t played since fracturing a bone last January. Harris was accidentally kicked in the foot in a practice three weeks ago and he re-sprained the ankle two weeks ago. Harris could return to action next week when the Magic face the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night or Friday night against the Boston Celtics.
Jones played well down the stretch and nearly helped the Magic pull out a big road victory. Jones’ driving dunk with 3:09 remaining in the game gave Orlando a 99-98 lead. The Magic (0-2) ultimately yielded a Kevin Love 3-pointer at the end of regulation that knotted the score and they lost in overtime.
In 22 minutes off the bench on Wednesday, Jones scored four points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked a shot. In two games so far for the Magic, the 6-foot-9 power forward has averaged 2.0 points and 5.0 rebounds.
``It speaks volumes to how he approached this season. He didn’t know if he was going to play against Minnesota or not, but we talked about (with the team) about not knowing when your opportunity is going to arise,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``He got hurt playing the game of basketball and competing and we’ll take that.’’
A nine-year NBA veteran who has played for the Hawks, Pacers, Clippers, Hornets, Raptors and Knicks, Jones always dreamed of playing for the Magic so that his Central Florida-based family could watch him play on a nightly basis. Jones still has the framed ticket stub from the Magic game he attended as a child and he said he owned Penny Hardaway and Tracy McGrady jerseys while growing up.
The Magic offered Jones, who played professionally in China last season, a training camp invite and the highly professional Jones made the roster as a reserve capable of playing power forward or center. He responded to word of making the Magic by telephoning his mother to tell her, ``Momma, I made it.’’
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