Terrence Ross Expects to be Ready for Season Opener

By John Denton
Oct. 16, 2017

ORLANDO – A nasty double-whammy threw Terrence Ross for quite a loop last week, but the Orlando Magic guard vowed on Monday that he will be ready for Wednesday night’s season-opener.

Already out with a mildly strained hamstring, Ross was hit with the flu bug following Orlando’s road trip last week to Dallas and San Antonio. As a result, Ross missed the Magic’s final three games of the preseason – two because of the hamstring and Friday’s finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to the illness.

Ross didn’t practice fully on Saturday or Monday, but he hopes to be back on the court without restriction on Tuesday – something that should allow him to play Wednesday night when the Magic face the Miami Heat at the Amway Center. Tipoff is just after 7 p.m.

``I’m feeling good and ready to go,’’ Ross said. ``They just wanted me to kind of use (Monday) as a precaution, but (Tuesday) I will go live with everything and then I’ll be ready for the game on Wednesday.’’

With Ross now expected to be back on Wednesday, the Magic will return their starting five from last season. Over the final 24 games of the 2016-17 season, the grouping of Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton and Ross played an average of 21.6 minutes a night – the most time together in the NBA (minutes per game average). Orlando is one of just six teams in the NBA headed into this season with the same starting five still in place, joining only Golden State, Portland, Miami, Washington and Milwaukee in that category.

``It feels good because that first unit has the chemistry and they know what to expect,’’ said Ross, who averaged 12.5 points and 2.8 rebounds with the Magic last season after being traded from Toronto. ``We don’t have jitters when we’re out there together and we just get out there and play. We’re just anxious to pick off that pace that we had last year.’’

Ross can focus on Wednesday’s opener now that his hamstring is feeling better and he’s fully recovered from the flu bug that struck him. He said he was in bad shape with the sickness, but he’s finally moved past it. That allowed him to get out on the court some and test out his hamstring. On Monday, he pronounced himself ready to go.

``I had some weird virus that I may have caught on the road and it messed me up pretty bad,’’ Ross said. ``I had cold chills, a little bit of fever and I couldn’t even get out of bed. It was just one thing after another.

``I’m good (with the hamstring). I’ve been working out, running, cutting and doing everything I need to do to get right,’’ he added. ``So I’ll be ready and I feel good.’’

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