Orlando Magic shooting guard Vince Carter, mired in the worst shooting slump of his career, left the Magic's game against the Washington Wizards on Friday night with an injury to his left shoulder.
With a little more than 4:30 remaining in the first half, Carter attempted to chase Wizards guard Randy Foye around an Andray Blatche screen. Carter ran into Blatche and instantly crumpled to the floor in pain. Foye missed the shot, and Orlando rebounded, leading to a transition three-pointer for Jason Williams. The Magic fouled the Wizards as soon as they could catch up with them in order to get Carter off the floor. J.J. Redick entered the game for Carter, who walked to the locker room accompanied by a member of the Magic's training staff.
The extent of his injury is not yet known, but the eyewitness account Twitter user BigGuy21 provided isn't pretty:
I'm close to the court. My guess is its actually a separation. It was dangling as they took him back
Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel, live-blogging from Orlando, couldn't gauge the extent of the injury:
Vince Carter grabbing his shoulder and grimacing. I wonder how serious this is. Sometimes Carter just needs a couple of days or hours to recover from dings.
A separated shoulder suffered on February 2nd prematurely ended Magic guard Jameer Nelson's season last year; he did not return until the NBA Finals in June, and was far from 100% healthy.
Carter started tonight's game off well, shooting 1-of-2 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line for 8 points. He was more aggressive in looking for his shot than he had been of late, and his lone field goal was an in-rhythm jumper from the right elbow extended. In short, he looked comfortable, and just about ready to snap out of his horrid slump. Carter is 7-of-37 from the field in his last 3 games.
UPDATE: From the Orlando Sentinel:
Vince Carter's diagnosis now lessened to a sprained left shoulder ... not the shooting shoulder, so he can still chuck.