Arron Afflalo knew his right hamstring was in trouble as he started to reach for a loose ball almost three minutes into the second quarter of the Orlando Magic’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.
In an interview a few minutes ago, his first since he suffered the injury, he said he suffered a slight tear to his hamstring. Magic officials announced over the weekend that Afflalo will miss the rest of the season and that his injury will be treated with rest and physical therapy.
“I don’t know if my leg was kind of turned inwards as I kind of reached down for the ball, but whatever movement I made caused me to have a slight tear in my muscle down there,” Afflalo said. “So, obviously, we didn’t have that much time left in the season, so there’d be no way I could even get remotely back ready to play for one or two games.”
Afflalo is the Magic’s leading scorer, averaging 16.5 points per game. He’s also the team’s leading shot-taker, attempting 14.1 shots per game.
Tonight, the Magic will host the Miami Heat as the Heat try to win their 27th consecutive game.
Coach Jacque Vaughn has several options for his starting lineup. The possibilities include starting E’Twaun Moore in Afflalo’s place or starting Beno Udrih in Afflalo’s place.
Afflalo wishes he could play tonight.
“This is a tough one,” Afflalo said.
“You have to find motivation and purpose in a lot of these games we were going to have towards the end of the season considering the fact that we mathematically couldn’t make the playoffs. So, tonight would’ve been a great reason to go out there, have some fun and play the game at a high level. But everything happens for a reason. It gives a great opportunity for the young guys to step up and get ’em a little [national] TV game tonight. So they’re all excited.”
Afflalo suffered the injury has he chased down a basketball early in the second quarter against the Thunder.
He started clutching his right hamstring before he even fell to the floor.
Teammates Al Harrington and Doron Lamb helped him return to the Magic’s locker room.
“Obviously, I was in a lot of pain the day I did it,” Afflalo said.
“I had a tough time walking, putting any type of pressure on it. You don’t really understand the function of your muscles until you hurt them. So I wasn’t even quite sure how to walk without using my hamstring. I didn’t know if I could lean on it, put pressure [on it], and every time I made a certain movement, it just sent like a shockwave through there.”
Afflalo said the injury will force him to rest other nagging injuries.
He said he hopes to begin training for the 2013-14 season in about six to eight weeks.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.