Nikola Vucevic took a nasty fall in the third quarter against the Clippers on Monday night and was indeed diagnosed with a concussion. This means Vucevic will have to go through the league-mandated concussion protocols.
It is certain Vucevic will miss Wednesday's game against the Trail Blazers and it seems very likely he will miss Friday's game against the Kings. The likely prognosis is that Vucevic will miss the next week, a very tough break after Vucevic missed two games with a sprained ankle. Vucevic looked like he was regaining his timing and his comfort in 19 minutes of play against the Clippers. He was just one for nine from the floor and grabed eight rebounds.
David Steele of Fox Sports Florida told Jake Chapman on Magic DriveTime on 740 The Game in Orlando on Tuesday that Vucevic is likely to miss a week. That seems to be the general timeline given for Vucevic from various reports.
The NBA's required concussion protocols will preach patience and keep him off the court until he is ready to return and the concussion symptoms have completely dissipated.
The concussion protocols, put in place a few years ago, requires a player to show no concussion symptoms before taking part in any physical activity. Then the physical activity will slowly escalate so long as the player passes concussion tests by scoring comparable to his preseason score.
There are three stages of this physical play — stationary bicycle, jogging and then agility tests. The player must pass the concussion test before moving onto the next stage. The whole process including the results is supervised by an indpendent doctor the league has hired.
Obviously each person will react differently and so it is very difficult to say with any certainty when Vucevic will return.
At a minimum, it seems, a player going through these procedures will be out four days from the date of his concussion. The earliest it would seem Vucevic could reasonably play is Saturday's game in Sacramento.
That is just unfortunate for a guy like Vucevic just coming off an injury. The good news is that if there are any lingering effects from the sprained ankle, the time off recovering from the concussion should heal that.
It is a rough break in what has remained a rough season for the Magic. The West Coast trip is off to a rough start and it will remain a rough road that has just begun.