Tobias Harris receives MRI and second medical opinion on his lower left leg

Orlando Sentinel

After Tobias Harris encountered a setback in his return from a high-ankle sprain, the Orlando Magic forward received a second MRI on his lower left leg and sought a second medical opinion.

The timetable for his return to the court remains in doubt, but it seems like he won’t be playing again in the immediate future.

“High-ankle sprains take time, and everybody’s healing timeline is different,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said Saturday. “And, right now, Tobias is working through that and trying to figure [that] out. When he feels his ankle is right, he’ll be ready to play. So, our stance right now is to be precautious and make sure that we don’t rush him back.”

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association defines a high-ankle sprain as “an injury to . . . the fibrous tissue that stabilizes the two bones of the shin.”

Harris aggravated the area on Oct. 20 during a preseason game and didn’t make his regular-season debut until Nov. 24.

Two nights later, coach Jacque Vaughn intended to put Harris in the starting lineup at small forward. But when Harris tried to warm up, he felt pain in his lower left leg. Harris was scratched from the lineup and hasn’t played since.

The injury frustrates him.

“It’s tough,” Harris said several nights ago. “But as a part of being an NBA player, you’re going to go through some bumps along the road. So I just try to keep my faith high and know myself and what I have going for me. Obviously, I’m not in the best type of mood just because I’m not playing, but I’ve just got to be patient, give it time and just progress through it. I always just try to keep my spirit high and just get through it all.”

Harris, 21, entered training camp with high hopes after he played well following his trade to the Magic from the Milwaukee Bucks.

“He wants to compete,” Hennigan said. “He worked incredibly hard over the summer, and I think he feels that all that work was put forth to have a really good season for us.

“The good thing about Tobias is that he’s driven enough and he has enough of an ambition to want to get back here full throttle. But he understands that coming back here full throttle without being 100 percent may not be in the best interests of himself or our team.”

Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at and connect with him on Facebook at Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.

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