By John Denton
Dec. 30, 2017
ORLANDO – In hopes of getting their prized rookie fully healthy and completely back to action, the Orlando Magic are placing forward Jonathan Isaac in an injury rehabilitation and conditioning program and he will be out of action indefinitely.
Isaac, the No. 6 pick in last June’s NBA Draft, has been hampered by lingering pain and stiffness in his right ankle since severely spraining it on Nov. 11. The injury occurred when the 6-foot-10, 215-pound Isaac swatted the shot of Emmanuel Mudiay but landed on the Denver guard’s foot, causing his own ankle to buckle.
Isaac missed 17 consecutive games from Nov. 13 through Dec. 16, and returned to play two games on limited minutes before re-injuring his ankle again. Following another two-game absence, Isaac played 16 minutes on Tuesday night in Miami only to experience more problems with his ankle. He missed his 20th game of the season on Thursday when Orlando defeated Detroit, 102-89.
Isaac, 20, will now focus on the health of his ankle and his conditioning. His return will be fully dependent on how his ankle and conditioning respond to treatment.
``It’s really just about getting him where he’s at his best and not yo-yoing him in and out of the games and having him re-tweak it,’’ Magic coach Frank Vogel said. ``He’s got to get his strength in the ankle and strength in his legs with conditioning so that it’s not an issue anymore.’’
Isaac has played in 15 games this season for Orlando, averaging 5.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.00 blocks in 19.0 minutes per game. He scored a career-high 11 points on Nov. 10 at Phoenix.
Isaac said on Thursday that he is having to fix his focus on complete recovery instead of trying to speed up the process so that he can get back for certain games.
``What have they told me? Just to be patient and wait for this to heal completely,’’ Isaac said. ``Just take my time, day-by-day. It’s tough (being out). It takes time and trying to come back when it’s not completely there (physically) is tough, so I just have to be patient and take it day-by-day.’’
Orlando faces the Miami Heat tonight at 7 at the Amway Center.
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