Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz will miss the remainder of the season after he suffered a torn ACL, the team announced earlier this week.
The Magic revealed that Fultz sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the first quarter of the 105-94 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Fultz underwent an immediate MRI to determine the severity of the injury. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
“It’s a huge blow for us,” said Magic center Nikola Vucevic about losing Fultz. “Unfortunately for (Fultz) this is really sad because for two years he had the injury with his shoulder, then last year he finally got to play and this year it was supposed to be a big year for him.
“He was ready and he started the season out awesome. This really sucks for a guy like him who has worked his way back. It’s hard to see and you feel for the guy.”
The 22-year-old Fultz was injured while driving to the basket with 7:35 remaining in the first quarter. He immediately grabbed at his knee before a trainer came to his aid.
“If anybody can handle it, it’s ‘Kelle,” Terrence Ross said. “He got the heart of a lion. He’s super talented. He’s always positive. I know he will be able to handle this, and we all got his back and will be here for him.
“You hate to see this, especially for a guy who had already fought through so much and came back and was balling. Now, this. It is one of those things that will make him stronger, and he will come back from this. I have no doubt.”
Fultz entered the contest averaging 14.3 points, 6.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds. He has averaged 10.9 points, 4.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 112 career games since being selected by Philadelphia with the top overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft.
He signed a three-year, $50 million extension last month.
“I believe in my brothers on this team and we have so much more to prove,” Fultz wrote in his tweet. “To all the fans. keep riding with us. I’m going to approach this recovery with all my heart and be the best teammate I can be to this organization. Faithful to the grind.”
The Orlando Magic are also without standout forward Jonathan Isaac this season because of an ACL tear.