ORLANDO -- Grant Hill will start practicing with the Magic next week, and could suit up for Orlando as soon as next month, the Orlando Sentinel reported Friday.
Hill has been sidelined for 14 months due to a severe ankle injury.
"I think next week we could see Grant, yes," Magic general manager John Gabriel told the Sentinel on Thursday. "I'd say four weeks of practice and then a handful of games."
However, if Hill experiences pain in his left ankle during workouts, or isn't generally comfortable, he will shut down his comeback and aim for a return next season.
Lon Babby, Hill's agent, told the newspaper that the timetable is "Grant's call." However, Babby would prefer that Hill does not try to come back this season. The Magic privately have expressed concern about Hill playing this season, too.
Hill has played in only 47 games for the Magic since signing a $93 million contract in 2000. He underwent his fourth surgery on his left ankle one year ago, and was cleared by doctors to begin workouts earlier this year.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Former Detroit Pistons star Grant Hill's hope of making a comeback this season may be in jeopardy.
Hill's ankle has been surgically repaired four times in the last four years, limiting him to 47 games since signing with the Orlando Magic in 2000. He underwent tests at Duke University over the weekend, and a red flag was raised during the examinations.
"After the last doctor's visit, he has thought about slowing up a little bit," Magic general manager John Gabriel said Sunday following Orlando's 107-90 loss to the Sacramento Kings.
Gabriel refused to say anything definitive on whether Hill would play this season, as the six-time All Star wants. Gabriel added there would be a Monday meeting between Hill, himself and the team's medical staff to determine the best course of action.
Before the game, Hill said the examinations went well-- for the most part.
"Everything looked great. The bone looked great," said Hill, who last played Jan. 16, 2003. "I took a strength test and it was good but not perfect."
Hill suffered a stress fracture while playing for the Pistons in the 2000 playoffs. The last surgery, performed in March 2003, was the most comprehensive-- doctors broke a bone in his heel to better align the ankle.
Hill's absence is crippling the Magic.
The team has yet to put together a solid supporting cast for guard Tracy McGrady, who signed at the same time as Hill. Also, Hill's contract-- $93 million for seven years-- severely handicaps the team in signing players.
Or maybe not, at that.
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