Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac He made his long-awaited return to an NBA court Monday night against the Boston Celtics, scoring 10 points in a 113-98 win for the Magic.
Isaac played in his first NBA game since August 2, 2020, when the former General selection no. #6 tore his ACL in the NBA bubble in Orlando.
After missing two full seasons and half of the 2022-23 campaign, Isaac was finally allowed to suit up and play on a minutes restriction against Boston.
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«There were days where I thought I didn’t know if I wanted to move on,» Isaac said after the game, according to ESPN. «But then again, I have to thank Christ. Being able to come back to my faith and say that God has me on this journey with a purpose. I know I was created to play basketball. I was created to give glory to God on this stage.»
The former Florida State product made two of his three 3-point attempts, grabbed three rebounds and added two steals as Orlando beat the top team in the Eastern Conference for the third time this season.
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«The league can be relentless,» Boston interim coach Joe Mazzulla said. «Guys with injuries go through their ups and downs. For him to fight the last two years, and work mentally and physically every day, that’s a win.»
«There’s so much going on in the league all the time. Guys are getting stronger, bigger and faster all the time, and to be able to play at such a level against such adversity, I think that’s awesome. You’ve got to be able to embrace that in this league. , because there are many changes constantly».
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Isaac first injured his knee in January 2020 before returning for the Orlando games in the NBA bubble, which was created due to COVID-19.
In his second game back from a hyperextended left knee, Isaac tore his ACL against the Sacramento Kings, causing him to miss 211 straight games while undergoing rehab.
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Isaac played in three games for Orlando G league affiliate before getting dressed for Magic Monday night.
«It felt fantastic,» he said. «Tonight is just scratching the surface of what this team is trying to be. I truly believe the sky is the limit.»