Evan Mobley isn’t expected to miss the Cavs regular season opener against the Raptors in Toronto on October 19th, despite being out the next 1-2 weeks with a sprained right ankle.
Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said Mobley injured his ankle in a 5-on-5 drill at practice on Saturday. Mobley was driving to the basket and attempting to finish a play when he jumped and landed on a teammate’s foot.
The team announced Monday Mobley would not play in the team’s first preseason game against the 76ers Wednesday night after an MRI confirmed the diagnosis.
He will not travel with the team to Philadelphia.
Despite the injury happening on Saturday, it shouldn’t alter his timeline for return but the team will evaluate how he responds to treatment.
“Obviously, we would love to have him we understand he’s going to be a big focal point of what we’re doing and a lot of the lineups revolve around him,” Bickerstaff said. “But it gives other people an opportunity to play different spots, get more minutes and more reps that we can get on film and dissect.”
The news comes as the Cavs wrapped up one last practice before boarding a plane to Philadelphia. Bickerstaff would not commit to naming any starters but did say that Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen would see playing time, but likely a limited amount.
The Cavs were expected to mix up their rotations, and Bickerstaff said the goal is still to find the best lineups.
It’s not the first time Mobley has missed time with a sprained ankle. Back in May, the 7-footer missed five games with a left ankle sprain after landing on Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner’s foot.
He returned in time for the final two games of the regular season before the NBA’s Play-In Tournament, but the Cavs went 1-4 in Mobley’s absence.
The Cavs tip-off the preseason on Wednesday evening at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
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