James Ennis was back on the court with the Magic on Wednesday, having overcome a battle with COVID-19.
Jeff Weltman announced last week that a Magic player had tested positive and was unable to travel with the team to the Disney campus. Ennis spoke with reporters on Wednesday via Zoom conference and confirmed that he was that player.
“It was tough,” he said. “Just quarantine, being away from your family for a little bit. I was in a separate room for about two weeks. It’s just tough not being able to work out or prepare for this, this bubble...I’m just happy to be back on the court, trying to get my legs under me, just trying to get back in rhythm.”
Ennis, whose addition and insertion into the starting lineup coincided with the Magic’s offensive outburst and 8-4 stretch before the league paused on March 11, was initially discouraged by the timing of the diagnosis.
“When I got it, I was like, ‘Man, it’s always something for me.’ Always have a speed bump,” he says. “I just talked to my mom, she said everything happens for a reason.”
Ennis said he experienced symptoms, including a headache for four to five days and nausea. Prior to that, he said he had been working multiple times each day preparing for the Magic’s eventual restart.
“It’s a good opportunity to show everybody what I can do as far as helping the team,” he said.
Ennis said it was his fifth day in the NBA bubble and that he was cleared to rejoin the team on Tuesday, news he celebrated by playing Vic Law in a game of ping pong before returning to his room to play “Call of Duty: Warzone.”
Following his first practice on Wednesday, Ennis admit that he was rusty.
“I gotta shake the dust off of me,” he said. “I gotta stay in the gym, I gotta keep doing the little things to get my body back right and stuff like that, get my legs under me. But I’m ready. I’m here. My focus is at 100. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get back to two-weeks-James-prior to me having the COVID. So, I’m ready. I’m excited.”
Josh Robbins of The Athletic reported that Markelle Fultz, who had not traveled with the team to tend to personal business, has arrived at Disney, as well.
Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz has arrived at the NBA bubble at Disney and has begun his quarantine, a league source said. Fultz did not join his teammates when they entered the bubble on July 7 in order to attend to a personal (non-COVID) matter.— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) July 15, 2020