Cleveland Cavaliers star big man Evan Mobley will miss 1-2 weeks with a right ankle sprain, the team announced Monday. Such a timeline would presumably keep Mobley out for most of the preseason, but have him back in time for the beginning of the regular season.
The league tips off 15 days from now on Oct. 18, but the Cavaliers don't play their first game until a night later, on Oct. 19. Should Mobley miss that tilt in Toronto, Cleveland doesn't play again until Oct. 22, so he could theoretically take 19 days of recovery and still miss just a single regular-season game.
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Mobley's health is essential to a Cavaliers team hoping to take the next step towards championship contention this season. He nearly won Rookie of the Year a season ago as the Cavaliers surprisingly reached the play-in round of the postseason. With Donovan Mitchell joining the team in a blockbuster trade, Cleveland expects to be a top-six playoff team at the very least.
But Mobley dealt with a few injuries last season, including a sprained elbow and another ankle injury. None kept him out for long, and he ultimately wound up playing in 69 of Cleveland's 82 regular season games. There is no immediate reason to fear a significant injury here, but the Cavaliers are being especially cautious with such high stakes this season. Mobley has a chance to jump into the All-Star conversation for a competitive Cavaliers team so long as he stays healthy, so making sure this injury doesn't linger will be paramount for the Cavs in the coming weeks.