Stomach bug cripples Orlando Magic
MILWAUKEE -- A stomach virus has forced the Orlando Magic to send home four key players.
The Magic said Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick took a flight back to Orlando before the team's game Saturday night against Milwaukee because of the illness. Dwight Howard and Mickael Pietrus returned before the Magic played in Detroit on Friday night.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he'd never seen so many players from one of his teams ill at the same time.
"Normally, it seems like you'd get one guy, two guys at a time, and maybe over time it runs through the team a little bit," he said. "We were all hit with this from Tuesday night on. It's different. It's not something I've been through before."
Forward Ryan Anderson also is in a walking boot because of a sprained right foot and will not play, leaving Orlando with only eight players active against the Bucks.
"We've got good players in our locker room," Van Gundy said. "We'll have to play very well and, obviously, the fact that we're down to eight and it's the fourth [game] in five nights is not going to make it easy, but we're certainly capable."
The Magic have won six straight games. They still managed to beat Detroit despite playing short-handed. During a win at Chicago on Wednesday night, Pietrus vomited in the hallway at one point in the first half.
The players sent home were slated to visit team physician Vince Wilson on Saturday night.
"They're still not feeling great," Van Gundy said. "They're all going to the doctor tonight. We can get them some medical attention and hopefully speed up their recovery a little bit. That was the intention."
Van Gundy said no players with the team in Milwaukee were feeling any flulike symptoms.
"Everybody else is feeling OK, other than Ryan," he said. "He's feeling OK but his foot's in a [walking] boot."
There has been no timetable set on Anderson's return, but Van Gundy said he would be "shocked" if he played in the next week.
Instead, he said Anderson probably would be out until the Magic return home from a four-game West Coast road trip later this month.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press