Magic guard Markelle Fultz announced he is making his 2021–22 season debut after not playing in an NBA a game for more than a year.
Fultz will officially return to Orlando's starting lineup when the Magic face the Pacers on Monday. The former No. 1 overall pick in 2017 told the team's Orlando Magic Pod Squad that he was “blessed to be able to return to the court after overcoming the injury he went through.
“I’m just blessed just to be able to, one, be where I am after going through an injury like this and being able to fight and just be back on the court with my brothers and friends,” Fultz said. “... I’m thankful for the process and the journey that I’ve been through. I’m very excited just to get out there with my teammates and go out there and compete.”
Fultz tore his ACL in his left knee in a non-contact injury during the first quarter of Orlando's game against Cleveland on Jan. 6, 2021. He previously signed a three-year, $50 million extension with the Magic on Dec. 21, 2020, after averaging 12.1 points and 5.1 assists in 2020.
Before his injury in 2021, Fultz averaged 14.3 points and 6.1 assists per game. Fultz's first two seasons in the NBA were derailed due to a shoulder injury known as thoracic outlet syndrome, which altered his ability to shoot.
Orlando (14–47) currently sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
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