Just five games into Chuma Okeke’s first season with the Magic, the rookie will once again be sidelined.
Okeke, who the Magic selected in the 2019 NBA Draft and redshirted his rookie year as he recovered from an ACL tear in his left knee, suffered a knee bruise in the same knee during the fourth quarter of the Magic’s blowout loss to the Sixers on Thursday. The Magic announced Friday that Okeke will be out for Saturday’s game against the Thunder and that his return will depend on his response to treatment.
But Adrian Wojnarowski reported shortly after that Okeke is expected to be out for “several weeks.”
Orlando Magic F Chuma Okeke is expected to miss several weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 1, 2021
Woj added that the ligaments were unaffected by the injury sustained on Thursday.
Okeke became an instant rotation player this season, showing encouraging signs that don’t necessarily show in the box score. He was averaging 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game, shooting just 35.7% from the field and 28.6% from three.
It’s concerning, and it’s disappointing for Okeke’s development after not playing basketball for nearly two years, but it’s a relief there is no ligament damage after what seems to be an unrelated injury. The Magic are know for taking a very cautious approach so it may be quite some time before we see Okeke back on the court. Hopefully the Magic have some frontcourt reinforcements returning sometime soon in James Ennis and Al-Farouq Aminu.