Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. to undergo left hand surgery

Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. will undergo surgery to stabilize the third metacarpal in his left non-shooting hand, the Sentinel learned Saturday.

Carter originally suffered a fractured left hand Nov. 2 at Utah and underwent subsequent surgery that required him to miss 20 games (Nov. 4-Dec. 17).

He is expected to make a full recovery and will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks following the procedure, the team announced while confirming the Sentinel’s reporting.

The preventive procedure will involve placing a plate at the fracture site, the team confirmed.

Despite missing more than a full month of the regular season, Carter played in 55 regular-season games (48 starts) while averaging 11.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 25.6 minutes.

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Still, Carter admitted during Orlando’s end-of-season exit interviews that he felt pressure to return to the court and match the level of play provided by reserves Moe Wagner and Goga Bitadze, the latter of whom started 33 times.

“It affected me in a lot of ways,” Carter said about the left hand injury. “Mentally, being out of the rotation for a while, just watching from the sidelines while they’re doing such a fantastic job and then the pressure of coming back and picking up where Goga and Moe left off.

“It was tough,” he added. “Then it got to a point where I was doubting myself a little bit — just being honest.”

Carter grew more comfortable as the season went on and at times came off the bench while providing a boost for the Magic’s second unit.

Returning to the starting lineup down the stretch of the season, Carter scored in double figures 28 times and 20-plus points three times while recording 10-plus rebounds 10 times.

Magic coach Jamahl Mosley moved Carter to the bench for the start of Orlando’s first-round playoff series against the Cavaliers but re-inserted him into the starting lineup after Cleveland took a 2-0 lead.

Helping the Magic force a Game 7 with the Cavs, Carter averaged 7.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.4 minutes during the playoffs.

Jason Beede can be reached at