Orlando Magic rookie forward Paolo Banchero missed his third consecutive game Monday vs. the Charlotte Hornets because of a sprained left ankle.
Banchero practiced Saturday, with coach Jamahl Mosley saying, “He went through all the drills we put forth for him” and that he’d be a game-time decision entering Monday.
He was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report before being ruled out two hours before tipoff.
Chuma Okeke started in place of Banchero alongside Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Bol Bol and Wendell Carter Jr. for the third consecutive game.
Banchero’s status remains day-to-day.
“Obviously he wants to play,” Mosley said. “It’s one of the first times he’s really hurt that ankle. He’s responded to [being out] well. He’s doing the treatment he needs to do. He’s in the training room working with them, doing everything that’s necessary to get back on the court.”
When asked by the Orlando Sentinel pregame if the ankle was still sore, Banchero nodded his head up and down to affirm it did.
Banchero, the No. 1 pick in June’s draft, was originally added to the team’s evening injury report last Tuesday after rolling the ankle on a drive to the basket with 2:51 remaining in the home loss to the Houston Rockets on Nov. 7.
He did finish the Nov. 7 game, recording 30 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 12 of 14 on free throws to go with 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 35 minutes.
Banchero is averaging a team-high 23.5 points, which also is the most among rookies, to go with 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 34.6 minutes.
Cole Anthony (torn right internal oblique), Markelle Fultz (fractured left big toe), Gary Harris (left knee injury recovery), Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery) and Moe Wagner (sprained right midfoot) remain sidelined.
The Magic wore their all-black City Edition uniforms, which also feature a metallic gray accent, for the first time Monday and unveiled the City Edition court that’ll be used when they wear the jerseys at home.