Magic rookie Chuma Okeke out indefinitely with knee injury

Roy Parry, Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Magic rookie forward Chuma Okeke is out indefinitely after sustaining a bone bruise to his left knee during Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

An initial MRI showed all ligaments were intact in the knee, according to the team, and Okeke’s return will depend on his response to treatment.

The injury especially is concerning given that Okeke tore the ACL in his left knee in March 2019 and missed nearly 20 months of basketball while recovering from reconstructive surgery.

As they have done with other injured players, the Magic likely will proceed cautiously with Okeke, who has been one of the team’s key rotational pieces off the bench, averaging 18.2 minutes per game. It’s likely Okeke will miss a few weeks.

While Okeke is out for Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Evan Fournier (back spasms) is questionable and Terrence Ross (hamstring) is probable, according to a team official.

Fournier left Thursday’s game in the first quarter with lower back spams and did not return. Ross missed the game with hamstring irritation that began during Tuesday’s game in Oklahoma City.

Okeke sustained his injury early in the fourth quarter as he attempted to drive into the lane against 76ers forward Mike Scott. No contact was made as Okeke pivoted and spun awkwardly to his right, then passed the ball to teammate Cole Anthony at the 3-point line.

After making the pass, Okeke walked gingerly toward the corner of the floor, then limped out of bounds and past the 76ers bench. He had scored six points on two 3-pointers before getting hurt.

Okeke’s injury comes at a time when the Magic already are short-handed at the power forward spot. Jonathan Isaac is out for the season and Al-Farouq Aminu continues to work his back from a procedure performed early last month on his right knee.

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