The Orlando Magic suffered another injury to a key player early in Sunday's loss to the Denver Nuggets when starting point guard Jameer Nelson bruised his left calf, causing a contusion, less than three minutes into the game. He would not return, forcing Chris Duhon and Ish Smith to share point-guard duties in Orlando's loss.
According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, Nelson "didn't seem to think his left-calf contusion is serious" and he considers himself "day-to-day." The Magic next take the floor Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats, who have lost 20 straight games.
Orlando is already without its starters at small forward (Hedo Turkoglu, facial surgery) and center (Dwight Howard, back surgery), and it didn't have backup combo forward Earl Clark (swollen left knee) available against Denver either.
Injuries late in the lockout-shortened campaign have stymied Orlando's efforts to lock up the sixth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. It needs to win one more game, or for the New York Knicks to lose one more game, in order to clinch the sixth seed and a first-round playoff matchup against the third-seeded Indiana Pacers. Indy clinched the third seed Sunday by dint of the Knicks' win against the Atlanta Hawks.
Nelson, a one-time All-Star, had been averaging 12.1 points and 5.7 assists per game prior to Sunday's loss. Stay tuned to Orlando Pinstriped Post for a recap of the defeat, the Magic's third straight.