Barring setbacks, Mobley will be back in Cleveland’s lineup earlier than anticipated. When he was diagnosed with an elbow sprain earlier this month, the Cavs announced that the big man would be sidelined for two-to-four weeks. That was just 10 days ago.
Mobley, who only has 15 NBA games under his belt, has already emerged as a key part of the Cavs’ game plan on both offense and defense. Even after going 0-for-11 from the floor in the November 15 game in which he sustained his elbow injury, Mobley has impressive averages of 14.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.6 BPG in 33.7 minutes per contest. The Cavs, who have lost all four games he has missed, have a 99.6 defensive rating when the 20-year-old plays, compared to 109.7 when he sits.
Still, it seems safe to assume Cleveland wouldn’t be rushing Mobley back into the lineup if he and the team weren’t both fully confident that he’s ready. While the 9-10 Cavs certainly want to end their five-game losing streak and re-enter the playoff picture, Mobley is a long-term centerpiece for the club, which wouldn’t risk his health to bring him back a little ahead of schedule.