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Magic expect Howard, others back from illness

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ORLANDO, FLA. (AP) - A stomach virus that forced the Orlando Magic to send home four key players during a recent road trip is beginning to subside.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy says the team is "optimistic" that Dwight Howard, J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus will play Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks after they participated in the morning shootaround.

Point guard Jameer Nelson was at home recovering from the illness and is not expected to play.

With forward Ryan Anderson also in a walking boot because of a sprained right foot, Orlando had only eight players available in a loss at Milwaukee on Saturday. The Magic also were short-handed at Detroit on Friday.

During a win at Chicago on Wednesday, Pietrus vomited in the hallway at one point in the first half.

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