12:02pm: The Cavaliers have issued their own update on Thompson, confirming that he’s dealing with a calf strain and indicating that they expect to get him back on the court in three or four weeks.
11:13am: Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson is expected to miss the next month due to the left calf injury he sustained on Wednesday night, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). After leaving Wednesday’s game in the second quarter, Thompson later departed the arena on crutches.
Thompson’s injury is the latest blow to a Cavs team that has had to deal with multiple injuries in the early going of the 2017/18 season. Isaiah Thomas, of course, is expected to be out until at least December – and possibly later – due to his hip injury. Derrick Rose has also missed some time so far, and Iman Shumpert is currently sidelined with a knee ailment.
After opening the year as a reserve, Thompson has re-entered the Cavaliers’ starting lineup for the last five games, but the club is just 1-4 during that stretch, and the 26-year-old’s production has been modest. In eight total games, he’s averaging a career-low 4.4 PPG and 6.1 RPG.
With Thompson sidelined, Jae Crowder seems like a good bet to re-enter the Cavaliers’ starting lineup, with Kevin Love spending a little more time at center. Cleveland doesn’t have a ton of depth up front, so it will be interesting to see whether Channing Frye and/or Ante Zizic see increased roles, or if the team opts to lean heavily on smaller lineups for the next few weeks.
Of course, making a roster move to add another big body is also a possibility, but the Cavs have 15 players on guaranteed salaries and will be reluctant to add salary, since that would increase their projected luxury-tax bill.