The Orlando Magic announced on Tuesday that power forward Jonathan Isaac will not play for the remainder of the 2021-22 season (h/t Bobby Marks) as he continues recovering from torn ACL.
A Florida State product drafted sixth overall in 2017 hasn’t appeared in a game since Aug. 2020 when he suffered the injury during the NBA’s return to play in the Disney bubble from COVID-19.
It has derailed the 24-year-old’s professional development in the NBA as he showed steady growth over his first three seasons. In the 34 games he played during the 2019-20 campaign, he was averaging career-highs with 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, and 1.6 steals per game. That also included another 39-game absence due to other injuries, as well.
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But the recovery from this torn ACL has become a methodical process that Magic president Jeff Weltman won’t cut corners with.
“First and foremost, the care of our players will always be our top priority,” Weltman said. “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.”
Initial expectations this season were that both Isaac and guard Markelle Fultz, who also was recovering from a torn ACL, would at least see the court. Fultz met that goal after a 14-month recovery of his own, averaging 10 points and 5.5 assists over his first six games back with the team.