BOSTON — The Orlando Magic might receive some help soon from a player who hasn’t played yet this season.
Al Harrington said he is making progress as he attempts to return from issues in his right knee after a staph infection took hold in the joint last May.
“It feels pretty good,” Harrington said after the Magic finished their shootaround at TD Garden this morning. “I’m getting in better shape. My wind is getting better. So I’m thinking now it’s just a matter of time. I’m just trying to get a couple of practices in; our schedule is not allowing that. But I feel good with everything I’m doing so far.
“I feel like I’m really close now. I’m just going to keep working, keep rehabbing. I feel like there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not sure exactly when I’ll probably get an opportunity to go out there, but I feel like it should be soon.”
Harrington would give the Magic a boost at power forward — a position depleted now that Glen Davis likely is out for the season following surgery to repair a fractured left foot.
There’s also a possibility that the Magic will attempt to trade Harrington, who at 32 years old doesn’t fit into the franchise’s long-range plans.
The NBA trade deadline will arrive on Feb. 21, and if the Magic want to trade Harrington before then, it would serve them well to have him play a few games and show he can be effective.
Last May, while still with the Denver Nuggets, Harrington underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee to repair torn meniscus cartilage. He thought it would be a routine procedure, but it left him with the infection.
Several follow-up surgeries were required to clean out the infection, which caused some collateral damage within the knee.
Harrington’s rehab regimen has been ultraconservative, and he started to practice with the team in a limited fashion on Jan. 13.
This is his 15th NBA season, and he’s dealt before with reconstructive knee surgery and lower back surgery.
But he said this ordeal has been the worst injury issue he’s faced.
“Definitely, because there’s really no protocol for it,” he said. “You kind of know when you have an ACL or a back [issue]. . . . But when you’re dealing with an infection, it just depends on how your body responds and how your bones respond and stuff like that. Definitely the toughest one, for sure.”
He said he has no problems running as long as he doesn’t think about his knee.
“I just keep saying to myself, ‘You’re healthy now. You’re healthy. Just go. Just go,’ ” he explained.
“It’s like a song I’m playing in my head to myself.”
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times