Savage: Anderson and Howard Injury Update

By Dan Savage
April 1, 2012

ORLANDO -- You never know when the injury bug will come to bite.

Unfortunately for the Magic, they’re getting nipped at the wrong time.

Already without six-time All-Star Dwight Howard (back spasms) heading into Sunday’s contest, Orlando lost another valuable member of its frontcourt when Ryan Anderson sprained his ankle while attempting to defend Ty Lawson with 23.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Anderson collapsed to the ground in pain, resulting in a critical open jumper for Lawson that put the Nuggets ahead 101-97, essentially sealing the Magic’s fate.

“That was tough, not only him getting hurt, but that’s the play we’re down two and he turns his ankle, falls down and (Lawson) gets a wide-open elbow jump shot,” Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy said. “That’s the one that sort of put it away.”

The X-ray on Anderson’s ankle was negative and he’s currently listed as day-to-day.

Although crutches were brought to his locker, the Magic’s power forward was able to leave Amway Center without them and was pleased with his prognosis.

“It’s a sprain that’s in a good spot,” Anderson said.

However, if he’s expecting any sympathy, he probably should not turn to teammate and close friend J.J. Redick.

“He seems fine,” Redick said before adding a bit of his dry sense of humor. “It didn’t seem life threatening.”

The Magic will need Anderson and Howard, who is also listed as day-to-day, back in the lineup quickly as their upcoming schedule features matchups against playoff contenders such as the Knicks, Sixers and Hawks.

Howard injured his back in Friday’s loss to the Mavericks, when the Magic allege he was punched in the back by Brendan Haywood.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year was forced to sit out of Saturday’s practice because of stiffness and soreness in his back.

He saw a doctor about the injury on Saturday afternoon and was listed as a game-time decision, but was scratched in the minutes leading up to the game.

Howard received treatment on his back during the Magic’s matchup with the Nuggets.

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