Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley injury updates provides sense of optimism before NBA playoffs

The Cavs are getting healthier heading toward the playoffs.

While the Cleveland Cavaliers will be without Donovan Mitchell (knee), Max Strus (knee), Evan Mobley (ankle), Dean Wade (personal), Tristan Thompson (suspension), and Ty Jerome (ankle) against the Phoenix Suns, per the latest Cavs injury updates, there is reason for optimism despite the up and down play lately heading into the NBA playoffs.

Thompson will be back soon after this home tilt against the Suns, with Cleveland hosting Phoenix serving as the twenty-fourth game in his 25-game suspension. Once the Cavs take care of business on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans, Thompson is cleared to return, giving Cleveland much-needed big-man depth.

Moreover, Wade, who is away from the court attending to a personal matter, should also be back on this upcoming road trip. Any added depth to a Cavs team starving for it is a welcome sign, especially when it can make an impact like Thompson and Wade.

More importantly, after Cleveland’s recent loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff did share that Donovan Mitchell, who recently received PRP treatment for his injured knee, has been cleared for on-court activity.

While it’s been reported that Mitchell could return during Cleveland’s upcoming road trip, it all depends on how the schedule goes for the Cavs and when they’re able to practice away from home.

After this current back-to-back, Cleveland is off for a day before hitting a five-day, three-game road trip due to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse hosting the MAC Tournament. There are limited practice opportunities when on the road, with most dedicated to recovery and film study.

But, as Bickerstaff has made it clear in the past, Mitchell will have to be a full participant in practice or clear certain benchmarks to return to the floor.

So, while it’s unlikely Mitchell will return against the Pelicans for the Cavs, there is a chance he returns when Cleveland faces either the Houston Rockets or Indiana Pacers on the road. But, again, it all depends on how Mitchell’s knee is doing and if the Cavs can squeeze a schedule in.

The requirements to get back to the floor aren’t just exclusive to Mitchell. It also applies to Mobley and Strus, who have been sidelined for several games with their respective injuries.

While Mobley was spotted wearing a walking book after Cleveland’s loss to Brooklyn, he is still several days away from his next evaluation by the team’s medical staff. Once Mobley is evaluated, he could be given the green light to start ramping up production, like Mitchell.

With that said, don’t expect Mobley to return to the court during this upcoming trip. Instead, there’s a chance it could happen when the Cavs host the Miami Heat or take the road to battle the Minnesota Timberwolves.

While it’s encouraging there’s an end in sight for Mitchell and Mobley’s possible return to the court, it’s uncertain when Strus will return. A known ironman who is known for not staying away from the hardwood, Strus’s knee injury is a result of wear and tear. According to Bickerstaff, it would take quite a bit for Strus not to play.

Bearing that in mind, when Strus returns to the court ultimately hinges on when his bothersome knee calms down. But, the end is almost near for the Cavs and, hopefully, they can remain healthy with the NBA playoffs on the horizon.

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About the Author

Evan Dammarell is an award-winning sports journalist covering all things Cleveland, including the Cavs, right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. He can also be found three to five times weekly on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.

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