According to cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, the Cleveland Cavaliers are targeting next week’s for Tristan Thompson’s return from a calf injury. The team also wants to get him more reps in practice before his return, per cleveland.com’s report.
Details about what game Thompson might return in are unclear, as are what role he’ll play, but his return would get the Cavs one step closer to being at full strength. Next week, the Cavs play on Monday at the Bulls, Wednesday at home vs. the Kings, Friday at the Pacers and Saturday at home against the 76ers.
Thompson has only played in eight games this season, averaging 4.4 and 6.4 rebounds per game. Both averages are careers lows. He strained his calf on Nov. 13 and the team listed his timetable for a return at 3-4 weeks.
His return will directly affect a few different players. For starters, Channing Frye is likely to see his minutes drop. Kevin Love would also move back to power forward if coach Tyronn Lue elects to start Thompson at center, and if he does, that would likely move Jae Crowder to the bench. Bench units for the Cavs that currently feature Frye at center would likely be tweaked as well.
Still, Thompson’s rebounding and ability to switch onto guards should help the Cavs, especially if he’s at 100 percent after not looking like himself to start the season.