Jonathan Isaac to Miss Remainder of 2021-22 Regular Season

Dan Savage
Director of Digital News

ORLANDO – Although previously hopeful that he could make a return at some point this season, the Orlando Magic will unfortunately have to close out their 2021-22 regular season campaign without Jonathan Isaac.

Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced on Tuesday that Isaac will miss the remainder of the season as he continues to rehab from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

“First and foremost, the care of our players will always be our top priority,” said Weltman. “We have to remember that Jonathan has missed essentially two years. While it continues to be a day-to-day process for him as he continues to strengthen and condition all aspects of his body, we feel we have reached a point where it would be prudent to say that he will not play this season. I understand this can be frustrating to our fans, but Jonathan has worked extremely hard and he is eager to return to game action, which is why we must continue to manage his rehabilitation with the big picture in mind. Quite frankly, we are just out of time to ramp him up to play in games this season.”

Isaac suffered the injury on Aug. 2, 2020 against the Sacramento Kings during the NBA restart at Disney, which spoiled an amazing comeback story.

After injuring his knee injury on New Year’s Day of 2020, it appeared that Isaac’s season was over. However, with the campaign being interrupted due to COVID-19 and not resuming until late in the summer, the 6-foot-10 forward was able to make a stunning return in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World.

Isaac scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in just seven minutes of playing time during his first game back in a scrimmage against the Denver Nuggets. He tallied 16 points in 16 minutes during Orlando’s win over the Brooklyn Nets in the Magic’s first seeding game, and then had four points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals against the Kings before suffering the injury.

Since then, he’s worked tirelessly to get back on the court.

“It’s frustrating,” Isaac explained. “I’ve been putting in a lot of work and everybody has been working extremely hard to get me to a place of getting closer and closer and we’ve kind of run out of time with where we are right now. Just looking forward to the summer.”

Originally selected in the first round – sixth overall – of the 2017 NBA Draft by Orlando, Isaac has appeared in 136 career NBA regular season games – 106 starts – all with the Magic, averaging 9.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.51 blocks and 1.07 steals in 25.8 minutes per game. The 24-year-old is eager to get back on the court with his teammates and help the franchise on the floor.

“Seeing the guys play night in and night out, being on the court, working out every day just preparing and trying to get myself there has been grueling,” he explained. “It’s been a lot. I want nothing more than to get on the court and play with my teammates.”

Isaac has yet to take the floor under the leadership of the Magic’s Jamahl Mosley, but has already made a tremendous impression on the first-year head coach due to his tireless work ethic.

“He is such a professional, such a thoughtful young man, and the way he goes about treating people and his professionalism, his involvement all over, his faith, those things just continue to stand out for me,” Mosley said of Isaac. “In the midst of everything that’s happening with him, he continues to stay the same and continues to work no matter what is going on.”

The Florida State alum is doing more now than at any point in his rehab and continues to progress towards a full recovery. He’s advanced to doing contact work in the half court but is still striving towards unrestricted contact in full-court settings.

“Our fans know Jonathan Isaac. They know him on the court, they know him off the court, they know what he’s about, they know how hard of a worker he is, and they know how much he wants to impact our team, our community, our franchise, and how much he wants to help his teammates,” Weltman said. “Obviously, it’s a frustrating process to go through to say, ‘we were hoping that he would play this season’ and as it turns out, it’s going to take a little longer than we had originally hoped. But the frustration, the obstacles, there’s no one you would rather have deal with that than Jonathan Isaac. His patience, his focus, his determination, and his understanding of keeping the big picture in mind.”

Despite his eagerness to return, Isaac has appreciated the patience of the Magic’s coaches, front office, and the training staff as he works towards a full recovery.

“They’ve been great, they’ve been great,” he said. “They’ve been alongside me, again, day in and day out, working alongside each other to put in as much work as we can without doing too much. But they’ve been there for me and walked me through the process.”