Jonathan Isaac, Jalen Suggs fully participate in Magic’s practice – The Denver Post


Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac and Jalen Suggs fully participated in Monday’s practice, coach Jamahl Mosley said.

It was Suggs’ first time being a “full go” in practice since exiting the Nov. 25 home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers with right ankle soreness.

Isaac, who hasn’t played in an NBA game in more than two years, has been practicing with the Magic and the organization’s G League affiliate — the Lakeland Magic — for the past month.

“It was good,” Wendell Carter Jr. said about practicing with Isaac and Suggs. “We’ve got a lot of key players on this team. I’m excited they’re out there with us. Hopefully, we can get them on the court with us going against some other teams soon.”

Mosley said there isn’t a timetable yet for the returns of Isaac and Suggs.

Suggs has missed the last 18 games with the injury.

“He tried to give it a go the other night and obviously, it didn’t look the part in my eyes,” Mosley said of Suggs after leaving the game against the 76ers. “It’s constantly helping him understand we’ve got to play the longer version of this vs. continue to press on it.”

Suggs also sat five games (Oct. 22-30) earlier in the season because of a sprained right ankle. He played in November’s first 12 games before sitting because of ankle soreness.

He’s averaged 12.4 points (41.9% shooting, 29.4% on 3s), 5.4 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 28.9 minutes (14 games).

Suggs, the No. 5 pick in the 2021 draft, had an up-and-down rookie season in part because of injuries that limited him to 48 games.

He was sidelined for 20 games from early December 2021 through mid-January 2022 after fracturing his right thumb and dealt with injuries to his right ankle that sidelined him for 13 of the final 18 games. Suggs had surgery to address a stress fracture in his right ankle — the same one he’s sidelined because of now — early in the offseason, limiting how much he could participate in basketball activities.

“That’s part of the experience he’s been through: being out, getting injured and coming back,” Mosley said of Suggs. “His understanding of the mindset he has to go into approaching it. Not rushing it. Not trying to get ahead of schedule. Just understand he has to take the steps necessary to get himself back fully. Mentally, he’s been in a very good space.”

Isaac has gone back and forth between practicing with Orlando and Lakeland since Dec. 6 — when he practiced with Lakeland and played 5-on-5 against other basketball players for the first time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the NBA bubble on Aug. 2, 2020.

“He looks good,” said Carter, who added that it was “probably” his first time playing in the same five-on-five session with Isaac “.We haven’t seen him play in a while, but if it was up to me, I feel like he should play next game. I understand it’s a process for him. He looks phenomenal.”

Carter, the No. 7 pick in the 2018 draft, played against Isaac, the No. 6 pick in the 2017 draft, four times time in the NBA while Carter was with the Chicago Bulls: Dec. 13, 2018, Dec. 21, 2018, Jan. 2, 2019 and Dec. 23, 2019.

“He did everything,” Carter said of Isaac. “Phenomenal defender. Offensively, he played the game the right way. Took the shots when they were there. A great passer. Defensively, that’s probably his strongest attribute. He can guard 1-5 legit, sit down and guard some of the best point guards and some of the best centers in the league. That’s where most of his value comes from — he’s able to do a little bit of everything on both ends of the court.”

Isaac missed the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons and hasn’t played since tearing the ACL — more than 28 months since he’s played in an NBA game.

The Magic haven’t put a timetable on Isaac’s recovery at any point.

“Just monitoring how he responds to things,” Mosley said. “As you give him a little bit more, how do they respond to each piece? That’s very important.”

When factoring in the time he was sidelined before the ACL injury, Isaac hasn’t consistently played basketball in over three years. He had just recovered from a major left knee injury in January 2020 before tearing a ligament during the league’s restart.

“It’s a matter of knocking out the rust,” Mosley said. “Being comfortable out there with different lineups, different groups. His instincts are still the same. His defensive ability to just know when and where things are happening, his rebounding. Obviously, asking him to do certain things with rolling vs. popping. Just finding his rhythm is important.”

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



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