The Cleveland Cavaliers finally get some good news on the injury front, as Tristan Thompson is reportedly nearing his return to game action.
While an official date has not been set, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic Thompson participated in practice and has not been ruled out of Friday’s game against the Miami Heat.
Tristan Thompson (sprained foot) participated in Cavs practice today for the first time since he suffered the injury. It’s not totally out of the realm of possibility he plays against Miami tomorrow. They need him. Ante Zizic (sore knee) didn’t practice. Hood, Nwaba still out— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) December 27, 2018
Thompson has been the Cavs best player this season and a vocal leader for the team. While Larry Nance Jr. has stepped up lately, the team is still at it’s best when both big men are active. Thompson’s presence has been mentioned several times by Nance as being essential to managing the physical toll playing center has on him.
Having Thompson to quarterback the defense from the middle should also help the team work on their habits on that end. While they still don’t have the personnel to put together a competent defense, having one half of the pick and roll defense equation taken care of with Thompson can allow the Cavs wings to try and hold their own. In a season that’s all about development, that’s a step in the right direction.
Injuries have sapped the depth out of the Cavs for most of this season, and the looming possibility of trades probably won’t do the team any favors in that department either. But while the supporting cast may shift, having the players that should be part of the team’s future active and playing together is something that should be prioritized. With his play and leadership this season, Thompson has sent a message that he would like to be a part of that future.