Arron Afflalo will miss the final 12 games of the season with a strained hamstring, the Orlando Magic announced Saturday.
Afflalo injured his hamstring when he pulled up a little lame going after a loose ball in the second quarter of Friday's loss to Oklahoma City. He stayed on the floor for an extended period of time, holding his right hamstring before Doron Lamb and Al Harrington helped him off the floor. Jameer Nelson told the Orlando Sentinel after the game that he knew Afflalo was in a lot of pain, although he did not immediately know the extent of the injury.
Afflalo officially has a strained right hamstring. The Magic have decided the best way to heal it is through rest and rehabilitation. and with so few games remaining in the season and very little to play for in the way of wins, there does not seem much reason to try and rush him back.
It was an interesting season for Afflalo.
He welcomed the opportunity to come to Orlando and be a bigger part of the offense after the team acquired him in the Dwight Howard trade. Afflalo had some growing pains in that role but turned in a solid offensive season. Afflalo averaged 16.5 points per game, a career high, although his field goal percentage predictably went down to 43.9 percent with the increased shooting and usage rate -- a career-high 22.6 percent this year.
Afflalo though took on a different role in the locker room. With so many young players, he kept the mood in the locker room professional and determined to win. Often after games, he would be the one expressing frustration that the team was struggling but the calm to understand that the young team was growing and getting better every game.
Even after wins, Afflalo was the calm voice of reason, pointing out the positives but recognizing that the learning was just beginning for this squad.
Afflalo is one of the few players on this roster who can consistently get his own shot and was not afraid to assert himself. That was needed for this young roster, particularly at the beginning of the season.
Now though, it is definitely time to let the young players play and get experience. There is no reason to rush Afflalo back for 10 games that will not have much meaning as far as the Magic's record goes.