Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell Unlikely To Return Vs. Suns

Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell has been putting in some work on the court, but it doesn’t sound as if he’s ready to go just yet.Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

Per Chris Fedor of, Mitchell is unlikely to suit up for Monday’s home game vs. the Phoenix Suns.

Mitchell has missed the past six straight games with a left knee bone bruise. If he misses one more game beyond Monday, he will be ineligible to receive any individual postseason awards, including All-NBA.

The new collective bargaining agreement requires players to play in at least 65 games to qualify for any of the major individual honors. If Mitchell doesn’t play Monday, he will have appeared in 47 games, with just 17 remaining.

“Sources tell he’s not expected to play Monday night in Cleveland’s showdown against the Western Conference’s sixth-seeded Phoenix Suns — the second game of a back-to-back,” Fedor wrote. “However, there is growing optimism Mitchell could make his highly anticipated return at some point on the team’s upcoming three-game road trip to New Orleans, Houston and Indiana.”

The Cavs (41-23) have lost four of seven. Besides Mitchell, they were also missing starters Max Strus (right knee) and power forward Evan Mobley (left ankle), as well as top reserve forward Dean Wade (personal reasons), in Sunday’s home loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Mitchell put up shots and did some other light work on the court on Sunday.

“Now it’s about putting the workouts together and the responses the day after and all those things,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff told reporters. “As always, we’ll be patient and put him in a position to be successful.”

Mitchell is fifth in the NBA in scoring at 28.0 points per game. He is also carrying averages of 6.2 assists, 5.4 rebounds and a career-high 1.8 steals, shooting 47 percent from the field and 37 percent on 3-pointers.

Cleveland sits in second place in the Central Division and third in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the Milwaukee Bucks.


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