Daniel Orton Returns From NBA D-League After Another Knee Injury
Orton injured his troublesome left knee again -- the one that made him drop to the end of the first round in last June's NBA Draft -- Saturday night for the New Mexico Thunderbirds.
Since he was drafted after just one season at Kentucky, Orton has spent his time with the Magic trying to strength that left knee, which caused him to miss his senior year of high school after surgery.
He has yet to appear for the Magic beyond summer league play.
"It is what it is,'' said Magic general manager Otis Smith Monday. "He was actually starting to play well.''
Orton will be examined by the Magic's medical staff later in the day and is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday.
In his D-League debut Friday night, Orton had 12 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot in 30 minutes. On Saturday night, he had 8 points, three rebounds and one blocked shot in 12 minutes before leaving in the first half.
The Magic made Orton the 29th pick of the 2010 draft, despite a mediocre freshman season at Kentucky, gambling on his potential. At 6-10, 255 pounds, Orton has the size, athleticism and instincts to be at least a good backup NBA center. The issue regarding his knee is why other teams shied away in the draft.
Orton averaged just 3.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks at Kentucky. He also averaged just 3.2 points and 1.8 rebounds for the Magic's summer league team.
The Magic concluded that he never had regained full strength in the knee following his original surgery, which is why he spent September, October and November doing more rehabilitation on the knee without practicing with the team.
"It's hard to tell where we're at with him right now,'' Smith said.