Magic’s Fultz suffers torn left ACL; season over

Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz suffered a season-ending torn left ACL in Wednesday night’s 105-94 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Magic announced.

Less than five minutes into the game, a driving Fultz was cut off by Cavs rookie Isaac Okoro, and Fultz’s left knee buckled without contact.

Fultz, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, writhed in pain on the floor for several minutes before he was helped onto a wheelchair.

Fultz signed a three-year, $50 million extension last month and was finally showing the promise that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft as he led the Magic to a quick start this season. He came in averaging a career-best 14-3 points along with 3.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists in seven games.

“It’s a huge blow for us,” said Magic center Nikola Vucevic, whose team also will be without standout forward Jonathan Isaac this season because of an ACL tear. “Unfortunately for [Fultz] this is really sad because for two years he had the injury with his shoulder, then last year he finally got to play and this year it was supposed to be a big year for him. He was ready and he started the season out awesome. This really sucks for a guy like him who has worked his way back. It’s hard to see, and you feel for the guy.”

Fultz was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as part of their lengthy rebuild but struggled for years with a difficult-to-diagnose shoulder injury ultimately determined to be thoracic outlet syndrome, a nerve ailment that affected the feeling in his arm and hand. He was traded to the Magic in February 2019.

Terrence Ross, who scored 20 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the Magic on Wednesday, lamented that the team’s injuries were “part of the league.”

“It happens. People get hurt,” Ross said. “We play a lot and go through a lot and people get hurt. We’ve still got to keep playing ball. We have a way to play and we can’t let the whole season fall or collapse because of a couple of injuries.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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