Cavs coach Tyronn Lue is hopeful J.R. Smith can return from injury within two weeks, according to a report from Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal. Smith recently rejoined the Cavs during their three-game road trip, albeit without the intention of making his on-court return.
“Hopefully the next 10 days to two weeks he’ll be back,” Lue told Ridenour. “They’re saying he’s been looking better and better every day, he had a good workout yesterday, so hopefully we get him back soon.”
Smith’s recovery process from a fractured thumb has been a complicated one. Following a report from Chris Haynes and Dave McMenamin of ESPN that Smith could return in mid-March, J.R. tweeted “Please don’t believe the hype. Still a ways to go.” (Twitter link)
Smith, who last made an on-court appearance on December 20, signed a four-year, $57MM contract over the offseason. Kyle Korver has performed admirably in Smith’s absence, shooting 50.4% from beyond the arc since being acquired from Atlanta.
The Cavs would obviously like to have Smith back as the postseason nears, particularly while Kevin Love recovers from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. In late February, Cavs GM David Griffin announced Smith was progressing “on schedule, maybe slightly ahead of schedule.”