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Al-Farouq Aminu out indefinitely with torn meniscus in knee

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Aminu becomes the latest member of the Magic to be sidelined

NBA: Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The injuries continue to pile up for the Orlando Magic.

The Magic announced on Sunday morning that Al-Farouq Aminu will be out indefinitely with a torn meniscus in his knee.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who first broke the news, later tweeted the Magic are determining if the injury can be treated without surgery.

Aminu has struggled with the Magic, particularly on the offensive end, while playing 21 minutes per game. The 29-year-old is averaging a career-low 4.3 points per game while shooting a dreadful 29.1 percent from the field, including 25 percent from three. The Magic offensive rating drops to 94.6 with Aminu on the court.

In mid-November after getting less than two minutes of playing time against the Sixers, Aminu stepped into the starting lineup when Jonathan Isaac suffered a sprained ankle and responded with his best game of the season, recording 13 points and 13 rebounds. It was the exact role the Magic envisioned when they signed him in the offseason.

Aminu was brought in to add depth to an already crowded frontcourt and provide versatility while backing-up Isaac and Aaron Gordon. He was a safety net were the Magic to fail to replicate the health the team enjoyed during the 2018-2019 when their core combined to miss just 16 games. Just 18 games in and that same core (Vucevic-Gordon-Isaac-Fournier-Augustin-Ross) is already approaching that number.

Still without Nikola Vucevic and Michael Carter-Williams, and having just got Aaron Gordon back after he missed three games, Aminu becomes the latest rotation player to get hit with injury.

The injuries already have opened opportunity for many of the Magic reserves, with Wes Iwundu and Khem Birch being inserted into the starting lineup in the absence of Gordon and Vucevic, and with Mo Bamba receiving extended playing time. Amile Jefferson could now be in line for some minutes, or a corresponding move in Aminu’s absence could be made by the Magic, who have a roster spot available and some financial flexibility with the recently granted salary cap relief for Timofey Mozgov.

Offensively at this stage, many might view the loss of Aminu as addition by subtraction as he struggled to find a rhythm in his new role with the Magic. But he will be missed on the defensive end. Wishing the Chief a speedy recovery.