Sports

Magic F Jonathan Isaac says ‘We’ll see’ about return, unsure if he’ll be ready for opener


Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac said Sunday that he’s getting closer to making his return to the court, but he remains unsure of a timetable as the 2021-22 season approaches.

The 6-foot-11, 230-pound Issac has been sidelined since Aug. 2, 2020, missing the entire 2020-21 season, and he continues to rehabilitate from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left leg.

Isaac, who turns 24 years old Oct. 3, talked briefly about his injury Sunday during the Orlando J.U.M.P. Ministries Global Church Seafood Festival, an event for Project Life that Isaac and his fiancee, Christian rapper Tatina Thomas, hosted, sponsored and helped to organize.

“We’ll see. That’s all I can say about that is: we’ll see,” Isaac said about being ready for the season opener, which is 45 days away. “I’m on the court. I’m weaning out of the brace. I’m jumping. I’m finishing around the basket and such. I’m easing my way. … I’m getting there.”

He suffered the injury during the Magic’s second seeding game in the summer of 2020 inside the NBA bubble against the Sacramento Kings at Walt Disney World.

The Magic open 2021-22 season Oct. 20 at San Antonio and it remains unclear if Isaac will be able to return that quickly.

Isaac has had a string of injuries since he was drafted into the league as the No. 6 selection of the Magic in the 2017 NBA Draft. In three seasons of competitive play as a pro, having sat out his fourth season, Isaac has played in 136 of a possible 309 regular-season games and averaged of 34 games per season. He also played in 5-of-10 postseason games.

In those 136 games, Isaac has had good numbers and the Magic will need his presence in their current rebuilding process. He’s averaged 9.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocked shots and 26.8 minutes per game.

Isaac’s best stretch came during the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season, but he missed several games that season as well due to another knee injury. In 34 games he averaged 11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He also made 47 percent of his floor shots.

“I feel good. My knee is doing great. I’m making strides, I’m getting stronger and I’m just taking it one day at a time,” Isaac said.

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