No Need To Worry...Yet
The Magic were without six players -- Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu, Tony Battie, Carlos Ariza, Trevor Ariza and J.J. Redick -- and none of the six was on the practice floor Wednesday.
Nelson, who suffered a concussion and a three-inch gash on his forehead last week after a collision with Howard, did ride the stationary bike and did some light shooting. Nelson said the headaches and neck pain he originally experienced have subsided.
"The trainers just want me to be patient because apparently once you get a concussion, it's easier to get a second one," Nelson said. "They just don't want me to rush back because it's a head injury. But I'm pushing the trainers every day, asking them if I can do more."
Redick was allowed to shed the walking cast he's had on his left foot for the past week. He has torn tissue in the bottom of his foot and expects to gradually increase his amount of oncourt work. He likely won't return to practice until next week.
"(Falling behind) is definitely a concern when you are making a transition like this and trying to get to know your new teammates," said Redick, the Magic's first-round draft pick. "But I just keep telling myself that it's important to remember that it's a long season. The NBA season is a different monster than I'm used to, and I just have to be patient."
Ariza, Orlando's defensive stopper at small forward, was given clearance Monday to return to the practice court. Tests revealed no broken bone in his right foot and merely a bruise.
Arroyo (oblique strain), Battie (sore knee) and Turkoglu (flu) are day-to-day. Turkoglu, who is having his blood and urine tested to determine his exact illness, hopes to return by Saturday when the Magic play at San Antonio.
Long after his teammates were gone Wednesday, Magic forward Grant Hill was still on the practice court working on his jumper off the dribble with assistant coach John Kuester.
Hill was more than happy to put in the extra work. He couldn't do it last year because of the sports hernia that wrecked his 2005-06 season. Hill played well Tuesday, scoring 16 points in 18 minutes.
Hill said his abdomen and ankle feel as good as they have in two years, allowing him more range of motion and explosiveness than he's had recently. That burst was evident Tuesday when he repeatedly got into the lane and to the free-throw line eight times.
"I'm still a work in process, trying to get in game shape, but I feel really good," Hill said. "I'm not thinking about the ankle. I can't feel a difference between the left and right (ankles). The ankle isn't an issue at all."
Hill was hit just below the left eye in Wednesday's practice by an accidental elbow from Darko Milicic. He's already sporting a large welt under his right eye following a collision with Pat Garrity last week in training camp.