The Cavs got bad injury news on their two young stars, as Garland has a fractured jaw and Mobley will need knee surgery.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping to cement their status as one of the East’s top teams this year, building off of a 51-31 campaign from a year ago that ended in disappointment with a first round loss to the Knicks.
However, despite bringing back the same core group and making apparent upgrades on the wing, things just have not clicked in the same way this season. Injuries have played a role, as just about everyone aside from Donovan Mitchell has missed a handful of games, but overall they just aren’t finding the same flow offensively, ranking 24th in offensive rating at 112.0. After a loss to the Celtics on Thursday dropped the Cavs to 13-12, Friday brought some seriously concerning injury news on two of their young stars.
First came word that former All-Star guard Darius Garland had suffered a fractured jaw in the loss after a collision with Kristaps Porzingis, which would keep him out “several weeks.”
Cleveland Cavaliers star guard Darius Garland has sustained a fractured jaw and is expected to miss several weeks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Garland suffered an injury to the head area in a collision with Kristaps Porzingis on Thursday night in Boston. pic.twitter.com/gLRSYDRZXk
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 15, 2023
Then we learned Evan Mobley, who sat out Thursday night, would need knee surgery that would keep him out for six-to-eight weeks, which would mean he is likely not going to return until after the All-Star break.
Cleveland Cavaliers center Evan Mobley will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/GqNCP1aZs7
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2023
The Cavs confirmed those injuries, providing a four-week timeline for Garland before his next evaluation.
With the trade deadline approaching, the next two months with Mobley sidelined and Garland missing a sizable chunk of time will be a determining factor in how the Cavs proceed this season. There were already some rumblings they could explore a bigger move, with the prospects of Donovan Mitchell walking in free agency after next season, and their current injury situation only adds to the difficulty they face in handling a potentially delicate roster situation.