An awkward landing has made the Orlando Magic‘s month of February more difficult than they initially anticipated.
Team officials don’t know exactly how many games starting power forward Brandon Bass will miss because of a left-ankle injury. But it’s clear that the limited depth at the power forward and center spots will become an issue in the days ahead.
One by one, Magic players walked past Bass inside the visitors’ locker room at FedEx Forum following their 100-97 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. Most marveled at how badly Bass’ ankle had swollen. It looked as if a golf ball had been planted underneath the skin on the outside of the joint.
Bass, who averages 11.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, hurt his ankle when he took a jumper and came down on the foot of Memphis power forward Zach Randolph. The Magic are calling the injury a sprain, and preliminary X-rays showed no fractures.
“I don’t know how bad it is,” Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. “But, obviously, we’re hoping it won’t be too long. We’re not loaded with a number of big guys, so that would be a tough loss.”
If anything, Van Gundy was understating the potential problem, particularly with a home game against the Miami Heat ahead on Thursday and road games looming against the Washington Wizards on Friday and the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Bass and Ryan Anderson not only rotate at power forward, but they also serve as Dwight Howard‘s backups at center.
Now, Anderson and Howard will be counted on even more than they had been before.