By Kenny Roda
CAVS BACKCOURT INJURY UPDATE
Kyrie Irving continues to wear a splint on his fractured left index finger that he hurt back on November 17th in a game against the Dallas Mavericks. He hasn’t been cleared for full contact yet, but has been doing all the drills with the team and playing some one-on-one games with other players. It was originally believed that he would be out for four weeks. If that holds true, then he could be back somewhere around December 18th, which would be a home game versus Toronto. Tonight’s game against Minnesota will be the 10th game Irving will have missed. If the healing process goes well there is a chance that Irving could return sooner, but at this point the Cavaliers have given no indication that’s the case. The Cavs are 2-7 this season without last year’s Rookie of the Year in the lineup.
Dion Waiters did not travel with the team to Minnesota and will miss his third-straight game tonight with a left ankle sprain. Cavs head coach Byron Scott said today that Waiters also has a little bone bruise in the ankle and that the team decided it would be best for the rookie guard to stay back in Cleveland so he could get treatment twice a day to try and accelerate the healing process. According to Coach Scott, Waiters would like to try and play on Saturday at home versus the Pistons, but in Scott’s words “I just don’t see it after watching him walk. I’ve always believed that a player has to have a full day of practice coming off an injury before he plays and that won’t be until Monday”. Waiters told his head coach that he couldn’t cut off of the ankle yet. With planting and cutting being a major part of the shooting guard’s attacking game, Coach Scott said he needs to be able to do that to play. While Waiters is officially out for tonight’s game, he is not officially listed as out for tomorrow’s game, but the chances of him playing against Detroit don’t look or sound good.
Byron Scott will go with Jeremy Pargo at the point guard spot tonight against the T-Wolves, while Boobie Gibson starts at shooting guard for the second straight game. The rest of the starters remain the same with Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao. With both Irving and Waiters out, the Cavs 4-15 lose 38 points per game along with 9 assists and 6 rebounds per contest.
Kenny Roda covers the Cavaliers for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 WKNR and ESPNCleveland.com
Follow Kenny on Twitter @RoadmanWKNR
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