Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
The injury bug that has bedeviled the Orlando Magic of late bit once again Thursday night as starting small forward Hedo Turkoglu suffered at least one fracture in his right cheek bone. And, as the Orlando Sentinel reports, Turkoglu may need surgery to repair the fracture or fractures.
The Istanbul native suffered the injury after taking an inadvertent elbow from Carmelo Anthony in the second quarter of Thursday's defeat. According to the Sentinel's Josh Robbins, Turkoglu required three stitches to close the cut on his cheek and did not return to action.
Turkoglu is averaging 10.7 points, 3.8 boards, and 4.5 assists per game for Orlando during the 2011/12 campaign, but a swoon following a back injury he suffered in late January has brought those numbers down drastically. Since January 23rd, Turkoglu has averaged 9.4 points per game on 36.4 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Orlando has already ruled Turkoglu and fellow starting forward Ryan Anderson out for Saturday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center, though coach Stan Van Gundy said the injury to Turkoglu isn't expected to keep him out for an "extended" period, per Robbins. Anderson sprained his right ankle in a loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
Injuries have also cost starting point guard Jameer Nelson and All-Star center Dwight Howard time during the losing streak. Nelson sat out Tuesday's loss to the Detroit Pistons due to a sore left calf, while back spasms ruled Howard out against Denver and Detroit.
Orlando will look to avoid its sixth straight loss on Saturday; it hasn't endured a six-game losing streak since February-March 2006.