Brian Schmitz reported earlier this afternoon that Tony Battie, arguably our best power forward, injured his shoulder a few weeks ago and may require surgery:
Orlando Magic power forward Tony Battie might have to undergo rotator cuff surgery and miss an undetermined amount of time.I'm no expert, but I know that shoulder injuries take a long time to heal. The Lakers' Lamar Odom, who had a torn labrum, underwent surgery in May and is still recovering. As the Orange County Register reported, he might even miss the start of the NBA season (via Forum Blue and Gold).
Battie was undergoing testing Thursday at Duke University, and the Magic were waiting on the results.
Tony Battie is not a great player, but he is important to this team. Think of it this way: when Battie is on the floor for the Magic, Pat Garrity and James Augustine are taking a seat, which is a good thing.
If Battie indeed misses time, it almost ensures that Stan Van Gundy will be forced to use Rashard Lewis at power forward instead of at small forward, his natural position. Lewis doesn't have the strength or ability to defend the low post well.
A bad defensive team just got a lot worse. I wonder how Otis Smith feels about letting Darko go now.
(Thanks to Orlando Magic Blog for drawing this story to my attention).