Aaron Gordon is back on the practice court. How long it will be until he is back in the lineup remains to be seen.
On his Instagram account on Sunday morning, Gordon posted a photo of himself at the practice facility with the caption “Back to work.”
Gordon suffered a blow to the head after colliding with Gary Harris in the Magic’s loss to the Nuggets on Friday night. Gordon, who fell to the ground after the impact, managed to take his free throw attempts before leaving the game. Gordon has since been going through the league mandated concussion protocol and won’t be cleared to play until he has passed each step.
The shorthanded Magic, in the midst of a three-day break, don’t play against until Wednesday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers. While it would be nice to have their leading scorer back, giving Gordon extra time to recover is probably the wiser move. Nikola Vucevic, who suffered a season-ending concussion early in his career, advised Gordon to take his time.
“That’s your brain, it controls everything,” Vucevic said. I told him to make sure it’s 100 percent before he comes back. It’s not like an ankle where you can play through soreness. This you cannot risk it at all.”
Vucevic did all he could against the Hawks on Saturday to compensate for the absence of Gordon, Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross and Jonathan Isaac by recording a triple-double with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Mario Hezonja earned the start in place of Gordon on Saturday, scoring seven points on 3-for-9 shooting in 31 minutes, which is easily the most playing time he has received this season.
Despite the Magic’s lack of depth, the three-day break, and Gordon’s Instagram post, I’d be surprised to see him back on Wednesday, or Friday for that matter. No sense in rushing it.