Hand injury still bugging Hedo Turkoglu

Hedo Turkoglu returned from a broken left hand in late December and many figured he would slide quickly back into the starting lineup and slowly work himself back into form. It seemed like it would be a matter of getting him back into shape and getting him back into rhythm.

Just more than two weeks later and it is pretty clear something is not quite right.

Turkoglu did not play Wednesday night in Denver, receiving a DNP-Coach's Decision. This turned out not to be any slight toward Turkoglu. Turkoglu told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel after Wednesday's loss that he and the Magic agreed to hold him out of Wednesday's game as a precaution.

There is no doubt that Turkoglu has been a bit off in his return.

Anyone watching the game can see Turkoglu flexing that left hand trying to get comfortable. In the five games since his return, Turkoglu is averaging just 3.6 points per game and has scored a grand total of one point. He is shooting 7 for 28 (25 percent) and 1 for 14 from beyond the arc.

There are times Turkoglu just does not look comfortable shooting. And that is saying a lot about Turkoglu who has never been shy about hoisting shots up.

Despite returning, it is clear his conditioning is not all the way back. He played 23 minutes in his first game and then 35 against the Heat. But since then, his minutes have dwindled as his discomfort has visibly grown.

Turkoglu said he has had his hand hit a few times and after Kevin Love re-injured his hand, Turkoglu is taking precautions to make sure he can come back and contribute. Obviously, that is a lot easier said than done. He thought he was at that point a few weeks ago. 

Turkoglu hopes to play Saturday, but he offered Robbins no guarantees.

When he will return to whatever form he had at the beginning of the season as far as conditioning and skill? That is another question entirely.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily