BY ROY PARRY
ORLANDO – Orlando Magic rookie center Mohamed Bamba has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left tibia, the team announced Tuesday.
The team said surgery is not planned at this time and did not offer a timetable for his return, saying that Bamba’s response to rest, non-operative treatment and rehabilitation will determine when he’s able to resume basketball-related activities.
“Thankfully we caught this early and are able to treat Mo without surgery,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said in a press release. “His return to action will depend on how he responds to treatment.”
Top draft pick
Bamba was in uniform but did not play in Saturday’s game against the Nets when he was a late scratch with what was called lower leg soreness at the time. Bamba did not travel with the team to Oklahoma City for Tues day’s game with the Thunder.
Bamba, who was the Magic’s top pick in the 2018 NBA draft, is averaging 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and a team-best 1.36 blocks a game. He ranks fourth among NBA rookies in blocked shots.
A lengthy Bamba absence would mark the second straight season the Magic’s top draft pick missed significant time due to an injury. A foot injury limited Jonathan Isaac to 27 games last season after he was the team’s No. 1
pick in the 2017 draft.
With Bamba out, the backup minutes will fall to Khem Birch. He had four points, six rebounds and a blocked shot in that role against the Nets on Saturday.