NBA: Magic to miss Mo Bamba for post-COVID evaluation
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Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba has been ruled out for the NBA playoffs after leaving the quarantine bubble for comprehensive post-coronavirus evaluation, the club announced Friday.
The Magic are set to face Eastern Conference top seed Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs starting Tuesday, where 7-footer Bamba would have come off the bench to help contain Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Bamba was diagnosed with COVID-19 on June 11 but had been cleared before joining the team in the Disney World quarantine in Orlando.
He left the bubble for further detailed medical exams on the advice of the Magic’s performance staff and team physicians.
A possible concern could be the long-term impact of the virus upon the heart and lungs of Bamba.
Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox lost pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez for the entire 2020 season due to heart inflammation caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Bamba, 22, told The Athletic he had lost his senses of smell and taste and been fatigued with sore muscles when suffering from the worst effects of the deadly virus.
The son of Ivory Coast immigrants whose grandparents were from Mali was selected sixth overall by the Magic in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Bamba averaged 5.4 points and 4.9 rebounds over 62 games before the NBA season was suspended on March 11 when Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
Montenegrin 7-footer starter Nikola Vucevic will handle the middle for the Magic against the Bucks, who had the NBA’s best overall record this season. (AFP)