Nik Vucevic, who is recovering from a mild concussion he sustained on March 19, won't play when the Orlando Magic play the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Vucevic said Tuesday he wasn't scheduled to accompany the team to North Carolina, but he said he expects to play again this season.
"I'm getting better," the 22-year-old center said. "I'm better day-by-day. I'll leave it up to the trainer and the doctor."
Vucevic suffered his injury when he absorbed an elbow to his mouth against the Indiana Pacers. The shot left him a bit dazed and left him wondering whether he had lost any teeth.
In the days that followed, he said he had a headache and some sensitivity to light.
After some tests, a doctor determined he had sustained a concussion.
In Dec. 2011, the league instituted a concussion protocol.
Physician Jeffrey Kutcher, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan and the director of the NBA's concussion program, consults with all teams on the return-to-play schedules of players who have suffered concussions.
Coach Jacque Vaughn might decide to not to play Vucevic even after Vucevic receives a medical OK to play again. Vaughn has been cautious in putting players back on the court after injuries.
Vucevic wouldn't speculate on how close he is to playing again.
"I don't know," he said. "All that is up to the trainer. I just follow what he says."
Vucevic attended the Magic's workout Tuesday. Although the Magic primarily shot baskets, Vucevic didn't participate, Vaughn said.
Rookie power forward Andrew Nicholson sprained his left ankle during Monday night's 108-94 loss to the Miami Heat.
Asked how Nicholson is doing, Vaughn would not specify how severe the sprain is.
He said that Nicholson is "day-to-day," but he added that Nicholson didn't participate in Tuesday's shooting session.
Vaughn said he saw plenty of positives with how his young players performed against the Heat.
"I thought overall there were a lot of good things: just our attention to what we were trying to get accomplished in the game," Vaughn said.
"Defensive scheme-wise, we asked our guys to do a lot of things against a pretty good ballplayer [LeBron James]. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of concentration, and on a majority of our plays throughout the course of the night, we were doing the right thing. For me, that's a good sign of a team that's improving. We continued to trust.
"You ask players to just count on your teammate. It's really that simple but complicated at the same time, because you have natural instincts. If a guy scores on you, you don't want him to score on you the next time. But that might happen. That might be in the best interests of our team trying to get a win."
Maurice Harkless spent much of the game guarding James, but he picked up a few questionable fouls along the way.
"He really picked up his game in the second half," Harkless said. "He was doing a little bit of everything. He was getting to the basket. He was finding his teammates. He was scoring. They stepped it up as a team. They took it to another level, and we just couldn't bounce back."
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