The Cavaliers are preparing to be without forward Lauri Markkanen for a significant amount of time after he suffered a what is believed to be a right high ankle sprain in Saturday’s win over the Thunder, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
X-rays indicating a more serious injury were negative, sources told Fedor.
Markkanen fell to the court, clutching his right ankle, just before halftime of the Cavs’ victory on Saturday night. He had been trying to block a layup attempt by Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at the time. (Hoops Wire’s Alejandro Avila has more here.)
He was then assisted to the locker room as he clearly could not put much weight on the leg.
Markkanen, 24, is 6-foot-11 and has been particularly solid lately. For the season, he is averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds, serving as the “small forward” in the Cavs’ large frontcourt rotation, also featuring center Jarrett Allen and rookie forward Evan Mobley.
Both Markkanen and Mobley are in their first season in Cleveland, and Allen his in his first full season there.
The Cavs (28-19) are 1.5 games behind the Bulls for first place in the Central Division and just two games behind the Nets for first in the Eastern Conference.