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Jonathan Isaac’s exact date of NBA return after missing two seasons announced by his pastor

Isaac played his last game in the NBA bubble on August 2, 2020.
December 30, 2022; injured Jonathan Isaac sits on the Orlando Magic bench during the game against the Washington Wizards during the first quarter at Amway Center

Jonathan Isaac

Jonathan Isaac has been somewhat of a forgotten man in the NBA after missing the last two seasons and half of the 2019-20 campaign because of various injuries. However, it seems that the Orlando Magic forward is set to make a return on Monday against the Boston Celtics. And barring any setbacks, the report appears to be infallible as his pastor made the announcement.

"He'll be returning to the court tomorrow completely healed," the church leader said.

Back after a lengthy absence

Once a promising prospect perceived as a potential game-changer on the defensive end, Isaac has seen his NBA career derailed by health issues. That has been the case since the Magic selected him with the sixth overall pick of the 2017 draft.

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After missing a significant number of games in his rookie season, the Florida State University product looked like he was on his way to launching a solid journey in the big league. He played 75 games in his sophomore campaign, serving as a backup and defensive menace for Orlando.

However, in the 2019-20 season, the 6-foot-10 forward sustained a nasty injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the campaign and the entirety of the following season.

Isaac will finally return to the NBA court after nearly 2.5 years. Although the pastor beat him out to it, notable league insider Shams Charania also confirmed the news on Sunday.

What will he bring to the table?

One of the questions surrounding the 25-year-old suiting up again for the Magic is how he fits into the equation. When he arrived in Orlando, the roster had a hole in both forward positions. But now, the franchise has a logjam at the frontcourt with Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr., Bol Bol, and Mo Wagner getting key minutes. Perhaps the coaching staff will ease him into the small forward backup role while it tries to address the rotation issues.

Some areas of need for the Magic that Isaac can help solve are the defense and rebounding departments. The team currently ranks near the bottom on defense and is mediocre on the boards. Maybe the "Minister of Defense" can provide a boost, thanks to his per-100-possession averages of 10.3 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, and 2.0 steals.

Unfortunately, adding another subpar shooter (Isaac hits 33.0% from beyond the arc) to the mix might further worsen Orlando's spacing. Still, his return should serve as a good problem for the organization that needs a spark in what appears to be another losing season.

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