Rumors of Glen Davis' demise may have been greatly exaggerated. The Magic received some very encouraging news Thursday, a day after Davis was writhing in pain and holding his shoulder late in a win over the Wizards on Wednesday.
Everyone feared the worst, but Rob Hennigan announced that Davis suffered a shoulder sprain and there was no structural damage to his shoulder.
"After further evaluation by our medical staff, Glen Davis has been diagnosed with a left shoulder strain," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. "The MRI showed no significant structural damage. He will be treated non-operatively. Treatment will include rest and subsequent strengthening of the muscles around his shoulder. His return will depend on progress made during his rehabilitation."
While the news is good that Davis did not separate his shoulder or suffer any tears to his labrum or surrounding muscles, there is no timetable for his return. It could take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or maybe even two months. It might all depend on how Davis responds to treatment.
This couldn ot have come at a worse time for Davis.
Davis has transformed himself this year and become one of the team's leaders on and off the court. He is averaging a career-high 16.0 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game. Certainly that is a product of having the ball more and getting more minutes.
His PER is at a career high 15.4 and he is grabbing a career-high 20.2 percent of defensive rebounds while he is on the floor. Sure, his shooting numbers are not where anyone would like them, but Davis was showing signs he was making better decisions and getting into a good offensive rhythm.
Not to mention that and Davis had launched his #VoteGlen campaign to get to Houston for the All-Star Game. Vaughn would not touch that question when I asked him about it before the game — "He can think he is a superhero if it means he will play better," Vaughn said. "For us, it’s what he is doing for this team and that’s the most important thing."
Davis was doing a lot. The question for Orlando now is who will step into that role with Davis out of the lineup.
The likely candidates are Josh McRoberts and Andrew Nicholson.
Vaughn had no comment after Wednesday's game about who he would slide into Davis' spot, holding to the line that he would think positively and hope for the best regarding Davis' injury. He has come to that road now and will have to cross it Friday against Toronto.
McRoberts has started two games this year and has split time at small forward and power forward this season. he is not a traditional power forward, but can play the position if needed. He is averaging 3.5 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game in 15.1 minutes per game. He was receiving inconsistent playing time until Monday's game against the Timberwolves when he was called on for the first time in about a week.
Nicholson is a rookie, but has already shown a pretty developed post game. He still has things to improve on the defensive end. Considering the Magic are in a "development mode," inserting Nicholson into the lineup makes the most sense. Nicholson averages 7.4 points per game in 14.6 minutes per game. He played only six minutes however against Washington on Wednesday night.
This will be a big decision, but one that can be developed over time since it seems Davis will be out for an extended period of time.
There will be time to debate that decision. The good news is that Davis' injury is not as bad as originally believed.