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Jonathan Isaac to begin practicing with Lakeland Magic

The Magic forward has not played in an NBA game since August of 2020

2022-2023 Orlando Magic Media Day Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The Orlando Magic announced that Jonathan Isaac has taken the next step in his rehab.

Exactly what step number that is, and how many remain, still are unknown. But at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Isaac will take part in team workouts with Lakeland, the team’s G League affiliate, having been limited with the Magic to individual workouts and contact drills with coaches.

Isaac has not played in an NBA game since tearing his ACL in August of 2020. He also required a surgical procedure in March to repair a hamstring injury.

Isaac last provided an update on his status at Magic Media Day in October.

“I feel the best that I’ve felt through this entire process,” he said at the time. “I’ve been telling everybody, I’m running, I’m jumping, I’m playing one-on-one, I’m doing all these things and finally, we’re ready to kind of just really start putting it all together and ramping this thing up. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Isaac is in the second year of a four-year, $70 million deal. Drafted sixth overall in the the 2017 NBA Draft, Isaac has played in just 136 games over the first five seasons of his career.

He was in the midst of a potential breakout season when he first suffered a knee sprain on Jan. 1, 2020. He missed the next 31 games, but the NBA’s four-month hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic enabled Isaac to return that season. That return lasted just two games before Isaac suffered a torn ACL. He finished the season averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds 2.3 blocks and 1.6 steals per game.

A long rehab process is still ongoing.

“He’s still ramping up,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said at Media Day. “I hate to sound like a broken record. I know that this has been a long process and, again, I just always harken back to his ability to remain focused in what’s been a really long ordeal of him. We’re hopeful to have him back during the season and I won’t put a timetable on that as usual. We want to give him the best possible space to get his work done.”

There remains no timeframe for Isaac’s potential return, with the Magic saying it will depend on how he responds to the latest step in his rehab and his continued treatment.