Markelle Fultz out for season after tearing ACL

Jack Baer
·2 min read
Markelle Fultz lays on the floor clearly in pain and is attended to by team personnel.
Markelle Fultz reacts after being injured during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 6, 2021. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Markelle Fultz won’t get a chance to continue an encouraging start to the season.

The Orlando Magic guard tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, the team announced on Wednesday.

Fultz left Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers after falling to the floor with an apparent knee injury. Fultz was in clear pain, and eventually had to be escorted off the court in a wheelchair.

The Magic soon announced that Fultz would not return to the game after suffering a left knee injury, with further evaluation planned. That evaluation revealed a torn ACL.

Losing Fultz is a significant blow for the Magic, as well as one of the better comeback stories in the NBA.

Entering Wednesday, Fultz had been averaging career highs in points (14.3) and assists (6.1) per game in his second year as Orlando’s starting point guard, a far cry from his infamous struggles during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers. At one point, the former No. 1 overall pick appeared on the verge of washing out of the league due to to shooting woes created by shoulder problems.

Instead, Fultz remade himself into at least a dependable presence on offense and a strong defender for the Magic. It was still a far cry from what Sixers hoped to see when their team drafted him, but that progress alone made Fultz an inspiring story, one that is now on forced hiatus.

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