Magic injury report: Two-day break comes at a good time

BY foxsports • February 1, 2011

Orlando Magic Play-By-Play Announcer
Feb. 1. 2011

You might refer to them as the dreaded "I" words: injury and illness. They strike every NBA team at some point of the grueling, 82-game regular season.

The Orlando Magic have had their share of the "I" words this year. A nasty stomach virus tapped into one-third of the team for several weeks in early December. Now the injury bug has reared its malevolent head, most recently in Memphis on Monday night, when starting power forward Brandon Bass sprained his left ankle late in the third quarter of the 100-97 loss to the Grizzlies.

Bass joins Jameer Nelson (sore left knee), Gilbert Arenas (sore left knee), J.J. Redick (sore left shoulder) and Hedo Turkoglu (sore lower back) among Orlando's limping wounded.

Nelson, Arenas and Redick have missed playing time recently because of their infirmities. Turkoglu has played through the pain, though at times not very well, of late.

The Magic have a few much-needed days off before hosting Miami on Thursday night. After a hectic seven games in 11 days, the break comes at a good time.

Nelson, Arenas, Redick and Turkoglu, whose injuries are more of the nagging variety, should benefit greatly from rest and treatment. Bass also will be receiving intense training room care, but he might be sidelined for a longer period of time. That is a shame for a guy who has worked very hard and is having a career year with the Magic.

If Bass is sidelined, the Magic have a couple of ways to go. Ryan Anderson, who has been terrific since overcoming a foot sprain and virus early in the season, can start at the power forward spot. Earl Clark could get minutes behind Anderson. (Clark has shown flashes of excellence in 10 cameo appearances with the Magic since arriving from Phoenix in mid-December.) Or, the Magic could go small, with Turkoglu playing some at the four spot, opening the door for Quentin Richardson to get back into the rotation at small forward.

The Magic escaped the treacherous month of January with a 10-6 record. Not bad considering nine of the 16 games were on the road, six of which were played against teams with a combined home record of 115-34 (Dallas, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Boston, Chicago and Memphis).

The load lightens in February with 10 of 14 games scheduled for the Amway Center, but prospects for winning depend in part on the getting the injured back to good health.

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