The Orlando Magic announced Friday that rookie swingman Maurice Harkless, veteran big man Al Harrington, and point guard Ish Smith will miss training camp in order to recover from various injuries. Harkless aggravated a sports hernia playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in the Orlando Pro Summer League, while Harrington and Smith are recovering from surgeries for a sore knee and torn shoulder labrum, respectively.
As Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes, Harkless' injury means the St. John's product "will spend at least the early portion of the 2012-13 season in catch-up mode." The team doesn't expect Harkless or Smith to be available until mid-November, says Robbins, which timetable means the pair will miss "some regular-season games." A doctor could clear Harrington for basketball activity before then, but the 14-year veteran will miss at least the start of training camp, if not all of it.
In his lone season with the Red Storm, the 6-foot-8 Harkless played everywhere from shooting guard to center, averaging 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and three combined steals and blocks. Orlando acquired him from the 76ers in August's four-team trade that sent All-Star center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Robbins reports that Magic officials believe Harkless would have been a lottery selection had he stayed at St. John's for at least one more season. That faith in his potential prompted the team to insist on his inclusion in the Howard deal.
Harkless will have to battle veterans Hedo Türkoğlu and Quentin Richardson for playing time. He may also have to contend with second-year pro Justin Harper, whom the Magic moved from power forward to small forward in Summer League, as well as third-year swingman Christian Eyenga and training-camp invitee DeQuan Jones.
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