Last season, the Orlando Magic unearthed an absolute gem in the form of small forward Tobias Harris, but Harris has yet to appear in a regular season game this season as a result of an ankle injury. Now, there are reports circulating that Harris won’t be setting foot on the court for a good while.
#Magic PF Tobias Harris is still weeks away from returning. His ankle sprain 2 weeks ago was a severe one. Not even back practicing yet.
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) November 2, 2013
John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com is reporting (see above) that Harris “weeks away” from returning, and that is a pretty shocking revelation. Initial reports of Harris’ sprained ankle seemed vaguely positive, but he’s already been out for a couple of weeks with no end in sight.
Coming into the year, many believed that the 21-year-old Harris was the best player on the Magic roster, and even if he doesn’t quite fit that bill, he’s certainly in the ballpark. Harris came over the in the JJ Redick trade last season, and in 27 games with Orlando (as a 20-year-old!), he averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. Those numbers would be noteworthy for just about anyone, but with Harris’ combination of youth and athleticism, the sky is the limit.
It remains to be seen just how long Harris is out, but you can bet that the Magic are keeping an eye on things. On one hand, his absence certainly helps any “tanking” bid by the team, but on the other side of things, it would be nice for Jacque Vaughn and company to evaluate their roster (featuring Harris, Victor Oladipo, and others) at full strength.