Injury Update: Jalen Suggs Will Not Need Surgery; Will Be Reevaluated Every Two Weeks

Jalen Suggs
by Dan Savage

ORLANDO – In the middle of a valiant comeback effort in Philadelphia, the Orlando Magic were displaying all the elements of the team that they hoped to showcase this season.

There was the high-end defensive effort from Wendell Carter Jr. on Joel Embiid. Mo Bamba threw a block party, notching a career-high six blocks. And prized rookies Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs were displaying all the characteristics that made them worthy of being top-10 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Unfortunately, in the middle of that battle, Suggs went down with an injury. As the 6-foot-5 guard drove to the basket with just under five minutes to play, Embiid swiped for the ball and in the process came down on Suggs’ hand. The team announced shortly afterwards that the Gonzaga alum suffered a fractured thumb, would miss the rest of the contest, and would be reevaluated once the team returned to Orlando.

On the positive side, that examination revealed that Suggs would not need surgery. Instead, the versatile combo guard will be evaluated every two weeks to gauge his progress and his return will ultimately depend on the healing of the bone.

“The kid is a fighter,” said Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley of the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft. “You just love his fight, his resilience, his toughness, (and) his competitive edge.”

Although Suggs won’t be able to take the court in the near future, that does not mean that the learning process stops. Just as the Magic have done with their other players going through rehab, he’ll be heavily involved in film sessions and will continue to meet with coaches to advance his development.

“It’s tough for Jalen in this situation right now, but our guys will keep lifting him up, keep him engaged, and keep the fight going,” said Mosley.

Throughout his rookie campaign, Suggs has instantly become a top-notch defender. His pick-and-roll defense has been among the best in the league for any guard, let alone a rookie. Prior to going down in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia, he was also delivering on the offensive end, posting 17 points and five assists.

“The game is starting to slow down for him, and it’s showing a lot,” said Bamba. “He’s a big part of what we are trying to build here in Orlando. Just wishing him a speedy recovery. I know he will be back in no time.”

Upon his return, Suggs will look to build on a rookie campaign where he's averaging 12.3 points, 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

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