Vucevic ruled out again Tuesday, Magic struggling without center

Jan 27, 2:44 PM

The Orlando Magic received what seemed like good news on Saturday when it was determined that injured center Nikola Vucevic would travel with the team on their three-game road trip.

However, Vucevic sat out once again on Sunday and has already been ruled out for Tuesday night's game against Detroit.

Of course, the Magic aren't going to let Vucevic play until they're absolutely certain he's ready. The Swiss big man has been sidelined since Jan. 6 with a concussion, the second one he's suffered within a calendar year. The NBA has strict protocol for a return from a concussion and the team will probably want to be cautious beyond those restrictions, too.

But oh boy, are the Magic ever struggling without him. Between this absence and earlier missed time due to an ankle injury, Orlando is now just 2-15 with Vucevic out of the lineup. His impact is felt in several areas but primarily on the glass:

Vucevic ImpactMagic with VucevicMagic without Vucevic
O-Rating99.198.2
D-Rating103.7104.8
OReb%23.4%19.5%
DReb%77.2%74.6%
% of shots within five feet32.2%30.9%
FG% within five feet57.8%55.4%

Now, the Magic aren't really worried about wins and losses this season, and their 12-33 record is probably considered a blessing in the front office. However, they're getting a clear lesson that Vucevic - a free agent in 2015 - is an important part of the current core.

In the 28 games he has played, Vucevic is averaging 13 points, 11 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, right in line with his breakout 2012-13 numbers.

Jan 29, 5:46 PM

Magic to get Vucevic back from concussion on Wednesday

Jan 29, 5:46 PM

In a somewhat surprising announcement, the Orlando Magic have revealed that injured center Nikola Vucevic will return to the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Toronto Raptors.

Vucevic has been sidelined since Jan. 6 due to his second concussion within a year. While he's been travelling with the team on their current road trip, it hadn't been reported that he'd moved beyond light shooting in his workouts.

He will be subject to an undisclosed minutes limit in his first game back.

As it is, he'll be a huge addition for the Magic, helping out on the boards and with interior scoring. The team has gone 2-16 without him in the lineup this season, missing the 13 points, 11 rebounds and 1.1 blocks he averages.

Jan 25, 12:25 PM

Nikola Vucevic will join Magic for three-game road trip

Jan 25, 12:25 PM

There's still no timeline for when Magic center Nikola Vucevic will return to action, but his recovery is moving along well enough that he'll join his team for their upcoming three-game road trip.

Vucevic suffered a concussion against the Clippers on Jan. 6 and, following standard procedure, hasn't traveled with the Magic while recovering.

However, the 23-year-old has been doing some work on his own as he works his way back from the injury.

Orlando's road trip begins on Sunday in New Orleans, followed by games in Detroit and Toronto on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Jan 24, 6:16 PM

Nikola Vucevic could join Magic for three-game road trip

Jan 24, 6:16 PM

Magic center Nikola Vucevic has yet to play since suffering a concussion against the Clippers on Jan. 6.

And while it's unclear when he'll be able to take the court again, it appears that Vucevic is nearing the point where he can travel with his team again.

It's standard procedure for any player with a concussion to not travel with their team, and the Magic have obviously been cautious with Vucevic throughout the month.

Orlando's three-game road trip begins on Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans, followed by games in Detroit and Toronto on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Jan 23, 4:56 PM

Magic's Vucevic to remain out with concussion through Friday's game

Jan 23, 4:56 PM

The Orlando Magic continue to play the status of injured center Nikola Vucevic close to the chest, but the team has revealed that he will remain out Friday when they play the Los Angeles Lakers.

This will be the ninth straight game Vucevic has missed due to a concussion, his second within a calendar year.

Not to speculate, but a nearly three-week absence due to a concussion - a repeat injury, no less - is cause for concern. It's good to see the team taking his recovery slowly, and hopefully it's precautionary and not indicative of a larger issue at play.

Jan 20, 3:35 PM

Nikola Vucevic out for Tuesday's game vs. Nets

Jan 20, 3:35 PM

The Orlando Magic will be without center Nikola Vucevic for an eighth consecutive game on Tuesday.

Vucevic, who has been hampered by injuries all season, is currently dealing with a concussion that he suffered in early January against the Clippers.

There appears to be no timetable for his return, but the Magic will obviously avoid rushing him back onto the court until he's completely ready. After all, it's not worth jeopardizing the future of a 23-year-old player in a season where you're already likely to land a top draft pick.

Jan 19, 4:47 PM

Still no timetable for Vucevic's Magic return following concussion

Jan 19, 4:47 PM

The Orlando Magic will be without Nikola Vucevic for the seventh straight game on Sunday when they take on the Boston Celtics.

Vucevic has had just a terrible go with injuries this season. First, an ankle sprain sidelined him for four games, then an aggravation of that same injury knocked him out for two more. Presently, Vucevic is nursing a concussion, his second in the past calendar year.

While he was originally expected out at least a week, his absence will now stretch beyond two weeks and has to be causing at least some concern. The team has not provided an update on an expected recovery timeline.

The Magic are mired in a 10-game losing streak presently, thanks in part to the team's drop in performance when the Swiss big man is off the floor (per NBAWowy.com):

Orlando MagicO-RatingD-RatingRebound Rate
with Vucevic102.110650.9%
without Vucevic99.8108.446.6%
Change-2.3+2.4-4.3%

Of course, the team is probably far more concerned with the long-term health of their 23-year-old than winning games in the short-term.

Jan 8, 4:46 PM

Magic's Vucevic could miss more than a week with concussion

Jan 8, 4:46 PM

The Orlando Magic could be without Nikola Vucevic for more than a week after the center suffered a concussion in Tuesday night's game.

Vucevic got tangled when trying to block a Blake Griffin jumper in the third quarter and landed hard on his side. His head hit the floor and he did not return to the game.

This is awful news for the Swiss big man, who has battled through ankle injuries this season, limiting him to just 28 of the Magic's 34 games. Vucevic also suffered a concussion last season that caused him to miss five games. 

He'll now be subject to the NBA's concussion testing protocol, with OrlandoMagic.com speculating he could miss at least seven to 10 days.

In his absence, Orlando could struggle to rebound the ball. Vucevic is averaging 11 rebounds and grabbing 19 percent of available misses when he's on the floor. While the Magic are an above-average defensive rebounding unit, they're among the league's worst offensive rebounding teams even with Vucevic.

Jan 7, 2:34 AM

Magic's Vucevic ends up with concussion in loss to Clippers

Jan 7, 2:34 AM

In his first game back since suffering an ankle injury last Tuesday, Magic center Nikola Vucevic is out again - this time with a concussion

He left Monday's 101-81 loss to the Clippers early in the third quarter after a collission with Blake Griffin. It is his second concussion in less than a year.