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Tristan Thompson to miss time with ankle injury

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The Cavs center injured his ankle in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Denver.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tristan Thompson will be sidelined for a few games due to an ankle injury suffered in the first half of Saturday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets. Thompson has struggled to stay healthy since injuring his knee in February 2017.

Per the statement by the Cavs:

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson stepped on the heel of an opposing Denver Nuggets player during the first half of Saturday’s game at The Q in Cleveland. He was able to continue playing, but experienced significant swelling overnight. Further evaluation on Sunday at Cleveland Clinic Courts confirmed a right ankle sprain and Thompson will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation for the injury. He is expected to miss multiple games and his return to play timing will be established in relation to his continued evaluation and daily recovery progress.

Some time off will probably benefit Thompson, as his play has regressed again lately after showing signs of life since Christmas Day. It’s unfortunate that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy, but this could benefit the team in the longterm.

His injury also means that Larry Nance Jr. will likely takeover as the team’s starting center. With Kevin Love out of the lineup, having Nance play more minutes alongside LeBron James has made the most sense. Especially when you factor how well he has played since coming over from the Los Angeles Lakers.

The downside of the injury is that it does leave the Cavs without a proven center with size. Ante Zizic may see time out of necessity, as the front court rotation is paper thin until Love and Thompson return.