The Cleveland Cavaliers have been dealt a preseason blow to their roster with reports that shooting guard Iman Shumpert will miss 12-14 weeks due to a wrist injury. The injury has been confirmed by Cavaliers beat writer Jason Lloyd from the Akron Beacon Journal.
Iman Shumpert needs surgery to repair right wrist injury, #Cavs say. Expected to miss 12-14 weeks.
— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) September 29, 2015
Shumpert is a backup shooting guard for the Cavs but he was a great pickup last season when the team acquired him from the New York Knicks in January 2015.
While he only averaged 24.2 minutes, 7.2 points, 1.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds in the regular season with Cleveland, he stepped up in the postseason and helped get the Cavs to the NBA Finals. During the 2015 postseason, Shumpert averaged 34.8 minutes, 9.1 points, 1.2 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. He also started 16 of the Cavaliers 20 postseason games.
The timetable for Shumpert’s return has him coming back in mid-December or right after the New Year, but a wrist injury is much like a foot injury to an NBA player. The 12-14 weeks is the earliest that he could return without facing any setbacks after surgery.
The news was also made official on NBA.com with the following statement:
“Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert recently suffered a ruptured Extensor Carpi Ulnaris sheath in his right wrist. The extent of the injury was confirmed by MRI at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health yesterday by Dr. Thomas Graham and Dr. Richard Parker. Shumpert will have surgery to repair his wrist Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic. His return to play is currently projected to be 12 to 14 weeks,” via NBA.com.
It might not seem like a major loss for the team but Shumpert did seem to fit in schematically, and his chemistry with the other Cavaliers’ players was coming to a head in the playoffs last season. The team still has Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith at the shooting guard position, but injuries can still impact the rest of the roster in a negative way–no matter how small the injured player’s role is.
This is the second injury to affect the team, as point guard Kyrie Irving (knee) is also out with no timetable for his return at this point. Cleveland fans are hoping that Lebron James and Co. have enough firepower to get this team a title this season, but injuries to Irving and Shumpert might have a major affect on those plans for the 2015-16 season.