DETROIT — The Cleveland Cavaliers’ could be without a few key rotational players when they open a five-game road trip on Friday night against the upstart Detroit Pistons.
All-Star guards Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell are both listed as questionable, suffering injuries during Cleveland’s hard-fought 114-113 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. Backup point guard Raul Neto carries the same questionable injury tag while oft-injured swingman Dylan Windler won’t play because of recurring ankle soreness.
Garland, who returned Wednesday from a two-week absence due to a nasty eye injury, twisted his left knee in the second half against the Celtics while trying to chase down a loose ball near the Boston bench. The play led to Garland diving into a row of camera operators and limping afterwards. But Garland shook off the pain, played through the injury and finished the game. The Cavs are calling it a sprain.
According to a source who spoke with cleveland.com, the injury isn’t believed to be a long-term concern, but more information will likely be known Friday. Garland underwent treatment Thursday before the Cavs left for Detroit. He is expected to undergo treatment once again Friday morning. If his knee responds well and loosens up, Garland could play in Friday’s matchup. The Cavs will conduct a shootaround Friday morning at Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit.
EARLY SIGN-UP BONUS
As for Mitchell, the three-time All-Star sprained his left ankle late in the first half after an awkward landing on a pass. Mitchell favored his sore left ankle for a few possessions and hobbled to the locker room at halftime. But he showed no signs of being slowed by the injury in the second half, as he scored 15 of his 25 points. After the game, cleveland.com saw Mitchell slowly and gingerly walking around the locker room.
Garland played 42 minutes in Wednesday’s win, scoring a team-high 29 points to go with 12 assists. Mitchell logged 44 minutes. Wednesday was also Cleveland’s third overtime game this season.
Neto hurt his ankle over the weekend and did not play against the Celtics. Windler has not appeared in a game this season. He suffered what was deemed a minor ankle injury in practice on Oct. 4 — the day before Cleveland’s preseason opener. Windler has been going through team workouts and was active for the first time on Wednesday. But sources say Windler felt soreness Thursday morning and could miss multiple games on this trip.
It appeared the Cavs had turned the corner on the injury front with Garland’s long-awaited return. It was the first time Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff got an extended look at his projected starting lineup.
But he may be forced to shuffle that rotation once again. It’s not good timing either. The Cavs are set to play five games in eight days during their longest road trip yet and need as many healthy bodies as possible to get through this grueling stretch.
Get the latest Cavs merchandise: Here’s where you can order Cleveland Cavaliers gear online, including jerseys, shirts, hats, 2016 NBA Champions products and much more.
If you or a loved one has questions and needs to talk to a professional about gambling, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or the National Council on Program Gambling Helpline (NCPG) at 1-800-522- 4700.
More Cavaliers coverage
Cleveland Cavaliers get first extended look at ‘death lineup’
Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell earn praise in first extended action together: What they’re saying about the Cavaliers
Darius Garland returns, shares details of scary eye injury: ‘I was ready for surgery’
Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell shine together in 114-113 overtime win against Boston Celtics
Cavaliers author 10-0 run to erase deficit against Celtics (Video)
Watch Darius Garland sink three quick triples in return to the court for Cavaliers (Video)
Darius Garland to return to action Wednesday for Cavaliers vs. Celtics
Could Donovan Mitchell end up the greatest shooting guard in Cavs history? Browns’ post-bye aspirations: Terry’s Talkin’ (podcast)
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics odds, preview, injury report, lineups, TV
Cleveland Cavaliers have finally joined the 3-point revolution: ‘It’s all about our spacing’
Donovan Mitchell’s historic start with Cleveland Cavaliers, Darius Garland’s return and Kyrie Irving: Wine and Gold Talk Podcast
Darius Garland returns to Cavaliers practice Tuesday, may play Wednesday vs. Boston
Donovan Mitchell isn’t the player Cleveland Cavaliers traded for this summer. He’s better.
Donovan Mitchell shows the New York Knicks what they missed out on during the Cavaliers’ 121-108 comeback win