Cavs’ Garland Aiming To Return Before End Of January

Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland, who has been out since December 14 due to a broken jaw, is hoping to return before the end of the month, reports Chris Fedor of Garland has missed 12 games so far.

When the Cavaliers first announced the injury, they said Garland would be reevaluated in approximately four weeks. That was exactly four weeks ago, on December 15.

Although the team has yet to issue a formal update on the former All-Star, sources tell Fedor that Garland is on track to have the wiring removed from his mouth on Monday. He’ll be examined at that time, and if everything looks good, he’ll be able to resume basketball activities.

As Fedor explains, Garland hasn’t been able to work out at all over the past few weeks, since Cavs doctors didn’t want him to get his heart rate up. He has also been on an all-liquid diet due to the nature of the injury, so he’ll need some time to get back into game shape once he resumes practicing.

Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has taken a conservative approach to bringing players back from injuries this season, so the Cavaliers certainly won’t rush Garland back to the court, Fedor notes. It helps that the club has responded so well in his absence — Cleveland is 9-3 since Garland and Evan Mobley went down in mid-December and has moved into a tie for No. 4 in the Eastern Conference.

With Garland and Ty Jerome on the shelf and Ricky Rubio bought out, the Cavaliers have been leaning on players like Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert for increased ball-handling duties in recent weeks, with two-way rookie Craig Porter Jr. also playing a regular role.

The club has two open spots on its 15-man roster and has enough financial flexibility below the luxury tax line following Rubio’s buyout agreement to fill both openings, but hasn’t yet felt any urgency to sign a free agent point guard.

There’s no update yet on Mobley’s recovery timeline — the Cavs announced that he was expected to miss approximately six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery on Dec. 18.

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