Markelle Fultz suffers season-ending ACL tear

Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images /

Markelle Fultz suffered a season-ending ACL tear Wednesday night.

Markelle Fultz was in the midst of a promising breakout year for the Orlando Magic. Through the first seven games of the 2020-21 season, he was averaging a career-high 14.3 points, 6.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. While he was only shooting 39.6 percent from the floor and 25 percent from 3-point range, he finally looked healthy and seemed poised for a big year, which was great to see from the former No. 1 overall pick who had been through so many injuries early in his career.

Wednesday night served as a cruel reminder of how fast things can take a devastating turn.

In the first quarter of Orlando’s home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Fultz was driving the lane and attempted a Euro-step, planting his left leg. His knee buckled at that point, and the 22-year-old point guard immediately dropped to the ground.

(For those interested, you can watch the play for yourself here.)

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the injury was a torn ACL, which will effectively end his season.

Hopefully Markelle Fultz’s latest injury isn’t as bad as it looked

People were hoping that Fultz’s apparent non-contact knee injury isn’t as bad as it seemed, but it immediately cast a sense of gloom over Wednesday’s proceedings:

Now in his fourth NBA season, Fultz has only topped 19 games in a campaign once — last year with the Magic, when he played in 72 games. In his first two years with the Philadelphia 76ers, he only managed 14 and 19 games, respectively.

It’s quite upsetting that Fultz will have to miss extended time once again this year, in just the eighth game of Orlando’s season. It wasn’t a good sign when he was quickly ruled out for the rest of Wednesday’s game, and after watching that knee buckle, the worst was officially confirmed that he’s done for the year.

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