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Magic’s Markelle Fultz fractures big left toe, won’t require surgery

Orlando Sentinel logoOrlando Sentinel 9/25/2022 Khobi Price, Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz suffered a fracture in his big left toe, a league source told the Orlando Sentinel Sunday.

The Magic confirmed Fultz’s injury.

Fultz broke the toe during a preseason workout before returning to Orlando, and imaging confirmed the fracture.

His left foot is in a walking boot, and his return to play will depend on how he responds to rehabilitation and treatment.

Surgery won’t be required, but Fultz will likely miss training camp, which tips off Tuesday at the Magic’s new state-of-the-art AdventHealth Training Center. Broken toes typically heal well within 4-6 weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There’s a chance Fultz, who was expected to be a starter in the backcourt, could miss part of the regular season because of the injury, with the Magic’s season opener against the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 19 — 3½ weeks away.

Fultz is entering the second season of a 3-year, $50 million contract ($35 million guaranteed) he signed with the Magic in December 2020.

He has a $16.5 million salary for 2022-23 that’s fully guaranteed, while $2 million of his $17 million salary is guaranteed for the 2023-24 season. Next season’s salary will become fully guaranteed if he’s on the roster past July 1, 2023.

Fultz’s injury struggles have limited his playing time (131 games in five seasons) since being the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

He missed most of the last two seasons because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that he suffered in January 2021, just eight games into the 2020-21 season.

After a 14-month absence, Fultz returned to the floor in a home win over the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 28 and averaged 10.8 points (47.4% shooting), 5.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 20 minutes (18 games).

He played in just 33 games across the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers because of a nerve issue in his right shoulder that was later diagnosed as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome before being traded to Orlando ahead of the 2019 trade deadline.

Fultz’s healthiest season came with the Magic in 2019-20, when he played 72 games (60 starts) and averaged 12.1 points (46.5% shooting from the field) and 5.1 assists in 27.7 minutes.

He joins Gary Harris and Jonathan Isaac as Magic players whose status is uncertain entering the season.

Isaac’s missed the last two seasons after tearing his left ACL in the bubble on Aug. 2, 2020, after the league returned from a four-month hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He had a setback when he suffered a right hamstring injury that required surgery during his March 15 rehab session — a couple of hours after the team announced he’d miss the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

Harris, who signed a 2-year, $26 million contract extension to return to Orlando before free agency officially started July 1, had arthroscopic surgery on Aug. 31 to perform a meniscectomy in his left knee after tearing cartilage.

Multiple surgeons told the Sentinel it can take up to two months for an athlete to return from the injury and procedure Harris had. A 6-8 week recovery period would give him a tentative return time frame for mid-to-late October.

This article first appeared on Email Khobi Price at or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

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