Orlando Magic second-year guard Jalen Suggs will be available to make his return from injury in Thursday’s home game vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, coach Jamahl Mosley said pregame.
Suggs, sidelined since exiting the Nov. 25 home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers with right ankle soreness, missed the previous 19 games because of right ankle soreness.
He said the soreness started to flare up leading up to the home games vs. the 76ers on Nov. 25 and Nov. 27. Suggs played 19 minutes in the first game vs. Philadelphia and sat the second for his first absence.
Suggs fully participated in practices Monday and Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s home game vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He wasn’t available vs. the Thunder, but Mosley said Wednesday there was a possibility Suggs would be available Thursday.
Suggs responded “ASAP, I feel great.” when asked Tuesday if there’s a timeframe he’s targetting to return by.
“ASAP” turned out to be against the Grizzlies.
“I’ve had the biggest smile on my face these past two weeks, just being able to do more every day, ramping up,” Suggs said earlier in the week. “Going from the weight room to actual on-court workouts to 1s, to 3s to now playing 5s. All of it’s been great.”
Suggs, the No. 5 pick in the 2021 draft, has dealt with right ankle issues since last year.
He sat five games (Oct. 22-30) because of a sprained right ankle before playing in November’s first 12 games before sitting because of ankle soreness.
Suggs had various right ankle ailments that sidelined him for 13 of the final 18 games last season. He had surgery to address a stress fracture in his right ankle early in the offseason, limiting how much he could participate in basketball activities.
“We did the surgery to take care of all the problems,” Suggs said. “It just kind of ended up coming back, so making sure the issues are put to rest and it’s not something we have to worry about anymore before it becomes a bigger issue.
“Things don’t always work out how you want it to. Now that it came back, taking our time, making sure we’re deliberate with it, and making sure when I do come back, there’s no soreness.”
Suggs will come off the bench and be on a minutes restriction Thursday.
Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr. will start alongside one another for the first time.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.