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Nelson, Vucevic close to returning after Magic off day

The Magic clearly missed both Nikola Vucevic and Jameer Nelson in the double overtime loss to the 76ers.

Philadelphia had 20 offensive rebounds that turned into 31 second chance points and so obviously missing a guy like Vucevic, who averages 10.9 rebounds per game and helps set the defense just by his size alone. Nelson's leadership and composure on the court helps the Magic tremendously on offense.

Nelson went out last with with a foot sprain and has missed the last three games. Vucevic sprained his ankle after he tripped over a camera man sitting courtside in Washington. That caused him to miss Tuesday's game against the 76ers.

After the team took a day off Wednesday following the back-to-back, both were scheduled to participate in the team's practice Thursday in New York in preparation for Friday's game against the Knicks, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. As always when it comes to injuries and the Magic, Jacque Vaughn said the team will evaluate their status before tipoff Saturday. Orlando always waits until guys are seemingly 110 percent healthy and have participated in a few practices.

That is going to be a while with the Magic on the road for another week (and really until next Sunday after a one-game home engagement with the Cavaliers and a quick one-game trip to Oklahoma City, thanks NBA).

For more good news, Tobias Harris re-joined the team in his native New York too. Harris suffered a high ankle sprain and is struggling to return to the court. There is still no timetable for his return. But traveling with the team has to be a good sign, right?

Orlando is still looking to get guys back from injury. That is always a long process with the stage the Magic are at in their rebuild. Patience remains the motto.

It took a lot of patience to get through that game Tuesday. It is a double overtime game that the team is still recovering from physically. It also came at an OK time in the schedule with the Magic getting a day off in New York. E'Twaun Moore took advantage of that day off by heading back to Mackey Arena to see his alma mater, Purdue, defeat Boston College.

Moore was honored at halftime of the game. He was a four-year starter at Purdue and led the team to four NCAA Tournament appearances on his way to becoming the school's third all-time leading scorer. The halftime ceremony included raising Moore's 55 to the rafters at Mackey Arena. He is definitely considered a Boilermaker legend.

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Victor Oladipo also had a good time in his first trip to New York during the regular season.

Oladipo joined the Fox Sports 1 show Crowd Goes Live and joined Regis Philbin for some singing and questions and answers about life in the NBA. Oladipo was a natural in the largest television market. Always good for the Magic to get the publicity considereing where they are right now in their rebuilding.

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Magic are back to work Friday night against the Knicks, coming off a 30-point win over the Nets on the road Thursday.

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

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