Nikola Vučević injury: Magic center "likely" a game-time decision Thursday, according to report

Nik Vučević - Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

In its first game of the new year, Orlando might have to face Cleveland without its starting center.

The Orlando Magic "likely" won't determine Nik Vučević's availability for Thursday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers until just before tipoff, reports John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com. Vučević sprained his left ankle in the first quarter of Orlando's loss to the Golden State Warriors on New Year's Eve and did not return to action. According to Denton, Vučević "received treatment on the ankle Wednesday morning and will be evaluated again at Thursday’s morning shoot around."

Vučević sprained the same ankle during a game earlier in the season and missed the Magic's next four outings. Without its leading rebounder and one of its most efficient offensive options, Orlando went winless and, according to NBA.com/stats, grabbed just 40.2 percent of available rebounds.

In his third season out of USC, Vučević is averaging 13.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, two assists, and 2.3 combined steals and blocks on 55.2 percent True Shooting.

Orlando lost the only meeting between it and the Cavaliers in the 2013/14 season. With or without the Magic's starting center, the rematch is set for Thursday at 7 PM Eastern on Fox Sports Florida.

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