The injury has been ruled out for a significant period of time. Clutch Points reporter Brett Sisel reported Garland will be out for about four weeks. If he is out for a month, he could return at the end of January.
He was injured in an away game against the Boston Celtics on the 15th. During the game, he broke through and collided with Kristaps Porzingis, who played defense. It was not considered a major injury at the time, but tests confirmed the fracture. Cleveland’s struggles increased as he, the center of the team, left the battle line for a long time.
Before his injury this season, Garland played in 20 games. He missed five games early in the season. Soon after playing his first game of the season, he was away for four games. Since then, he has returned to play without difficulty. However, due to the injury, he will not be able to play more than 70 games this season. Since joining the NBA, Garland has not played 70 games+ in a single season.
He played 34 minutes per game this season, recording 20.7 points (.470.346.835) with 2.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.6 steals. With the highest salary in his team, he is leading his team’s offense along with Donavan Mitchell. He is ranking second in average score and ranks first in average assists, which accounts for a significant portion of his team’s strength.
Considering his recent performance, the injury is all the more regrettable. Although he slowed down for a while at the beginning of the season, his contribution has been significant in the last nine games, with an average of 22.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.7 steals. In the away game against the Orlando Magic on the 12th, he scored 36 points, the most in a season, showing off his fierce scoring ability.
It is fatal to Cleveland in many ways that he has to be away for weeks, not for the time being. Moreover, not only Garland was injured, but Evan Mobley, who had been excluded from the team’s roster, was also confirmed to be absent for a long time. As the two main players were suddenly unable to play in January, Cleveland’s season became quite uncertain.
Meanwhile, Cleveland sits ninth in the Eastern Conference with 13 wins and 12 losses so far this season. Although it maintains a win rate of 50 percent, it has hardly been able to display performance that has risen over the past two seasons. Due to a series of injuries to its key players, the team failed to properly operate its existing power. Following Jarrett Allen’s injury early in the season, Mobley and Garland were recently injured, which makes it difficult to form the team.