There have not been too many bright spots for the Orlando Magic this season, but one came on Monday night when Markelle Fultz made his return to game action against the Indiana Pacers after nearly 14 months on the sideline. Prior to the contest against Indiana, Fultz last played in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in early January of 2021. He suffered a torn left ACL in that game and had been on the road to recovery ever since. That road led to Monday night.
In his return game, Fultz played 16 minutes off the bench for Orlando and tallied 10 points, six assists and two rebounds while hitting five of his seven attempts from the floor. His production helped the Magic pull out a 119-103 win, and while his numbers aren’t eye-popping, they’re certainly solid for a player that has been shelved for over a year.
More than anything, it was just good to see Fultz back on the court. His career has been derailed by injury issues early on, but he still has plenty of potential as a player and has proven to be a productive player when he can stay out on the floor. After the game, Fultz detailed his approach to his rehabilitation, and how he managed to remain optimistic throughout the process.
“Just take it one day at a time,” Fultz said. “Focus on that day. Try to get better each and every day, rely on the people that’s in your support system, believe in god and anything is possible. That’s all I did. I got a great group of guys around me, a great organization, so they made it as easy as possible for me.”
The former first overall pick also discussed how good it felt to finally be back out there with his teammates. “It was huge,” Fultz said. “I think the biggest part about it is, it was no stress, no thinking. Just going out there being myself. My teammates helped me play to my strengths. We just all went out there and tried to have fun and competed and got a [win].”
Wins have been hard to come by for the Magic this season, so that aspect of the game is noteworthy, even though the outcome was the evening’s secondary storyline. The Magic aren’t going to make the playoffs this season, so everything for them is about building for the future, and Fultz’s return is a step in the right direction.
Courtesy: CBS Sports