Nikola Vucevic says injury ‘not serious at all’ as he sits for Magic vs. Celtics
Nikola Vucevic is bound to ride the bench on Friday, as he’s slated to sit out against the Boston Celtics. The Orlando Magic star reportedly suffered a left high-ankle sprain on Monday against the Detroit Pistons, but he actually turned down the notion that was the extent of his injury:
“It’s definitely not [a] high [sprain]. It’s just a small sprain, nothing serious at all,” said Vucevic, according to Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel. “It’s more precautionary [to sit] because there’s some soreness in it. I just want to get rid of it and be pain free.”
There is no point in risking Vooch’s health at this point of the preseason, as the veteran center has already had plenty of preseason action through the course of his eight-year career in the league. Mo Bamba will start in his place at center while the 7-footer recovers, while Khem Birch takes on backup minutes.
Head coach Steve Clifford is hoping to see more ball movement out of his team. While he praised the defensive activity during Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, he looked to get more of his guys involved.
“We didn’t move the ball,” said Clifford. “When the ball moves freely, we’re hard to guard.”
Vucevic put up a career-high in assists last season, dropping 3.8 dimes per game along with a monster double-double average of 20.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, which minted him as an All-Star for the first time. The soon-to-be 29-year-old signed a four-year, $100 million deal with Orlando this summer, one that will expect him to produce as highly as this past playoff-bound season.