Charlotte Hornets small forward Nic Batum was out of his protective boot Sunday at practice, walking around with a wrap on his strained left foot and wearing sandals.
Batum was ruled out of Game 3 Saturday after he suffered a severe foot and ankle injury in the second half of Game 2 in Miami.
The Hornets are listing Batum as questionable for Monday night’s Game 4 against the Miami Heat. Batum found it encouraging the Hornets hadn’t ruled him out at practice Sunday, but he’s a long way still from having a normal left foot.
“It’s better than (Saturday). I don’t know (if he’ll play Monday), but I hope so,” Batum said. “I can’t say yes or no, because I really don’t know. We’ll find out. I got here this morning at 10 a.m. I’m doing everything I can to be back as soon as possible.”
Batum has undergone a variety of treatments, including ice and heat. He’s been in the training room for about five hours each day since suffering the injury.
Batum said he knew instantly he had seriously hurt himself when he fell to the floor in Miami.
“I could feel my foot turn and when I went back to the locker room and watched the video I was like, ‘That looks bad!’ “ Batum recalled. “Good thing it was negative (for a fracture). I was lucky on that.”
Batum said he sees progress in his foot’s healing and feels he’ll play at some point in this series, particularly if the Hornets can extend it beyond Wednesday’s Game 5.
“Better,” Batum said. “I have no boot on it, and I can walk on it. I’ve got some pain, and it’s swollen still. It’s purple and blue.
“That’s a good sign (that he can now put weight on It). I feel way better than yesterday, and WAY better than the day before. So we’ll see.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell