The Cleveland Cavs have been no stranger to both injuries and COVID-related absences this season. The Cavs lost guard Collin Sexton for the season to a meniscus tear in his left knee, then experienced the absences of key contributors Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman due to the health and safety protocols. On Tuesday, the Cavs received a mixed bag of COVID updates on Mobley and guard Darius Garland.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 28, 2021
That’s good news for the Cavs on the COVID front in regard to rookie Evan Mobley, who has cleared the protocols, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Mobley could rejoin the team as soon as Tuesday, as Charania reports, though he’ll likely have to ramp up his conditioning, as teammate Okoro did. The rookie has been excellent for Cleveland, as he’s excelled on both ends of the floor, averaging 13.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 0.9 steals per game in over 33 minutes per contest.
As good as the news was on the Mobley front, the Cavs also received some bad news on guard Darius Garland.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland — one of the season's revelations — has entered into Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 28, 2021
Just as Mobley cleared the COVID protocols for the Cavs, Garland entered them. Such is life in the current state of the NBA. Garland has been on fire for the Cavs lately, as he has scored 20-plus points in each of his last four games and has five-plus assists in 11 of 12 games played in December.
The Cavs will have a hard time recreating Garland’s production in the backcourt, though they could do a lot worse than veteran point guard Ricky Rubio.
While the Cavs’ COVID situation has been rough lately, especially given the news on Darius Garland, the team will at least get Evan Mobley back in the rotation to help ease the blow.