It was an off-hand comment in a podcast with Howard Beck, but former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager caused a stir when he mentioned that he was told Darius Garland had multiple operations on his knee since the end of the college season.
A couple weeks have passed now, and Cavs fans were left wondering whether or not there was validity to that claim.
Fortunately, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com provided some clarity in his latest mailbag addressing the health of Garland:
Garland suffered a torn meniscus during his fifth college game in November. Shortly after, he had surgery (there’s a scar on his left knee as evidence). Somewhere after that and before the NBA Draft on June 20, doctors did have to go back for a second operation, which was phrased to me recently as a “clean-up procedure.”
Prior to the draft, Garland was able to work out for teams, including the Cavaliers, in Los Angeles. He showed he was healthy then. According to sources, Cavaliers team doctors said everything with his knee was OK in their evaluation. They were optimistic about what they heard, didn’t see any reason to red-flag him and were thrilled to get him at No. 5.
A clean-up procedure after surgery on the meniscus isn’t abnormal and it’s good to hear that Garland is able to work on his game at this point.
Fedor went on to explain that Garland has been working on his strength and conditioning at the Cleveland Clinic Courts — Cleveland’s main practice facility — recently. The decision to not play him in summer league was mostly precautionary, as they didn’t want to throw him into competition before he got back into shape.
He will have a steep learning curve after missing the bulk of his freshman season in college. There wasn’t a lot of time to adjust to the college game, and now he’ll be tasked with running an offense at a professional level.
There may be some bumps early on, but the fact that most of his rehabilitation is behind him and he’s able to work on his game with the team so early into summer is a good sign. We are still over two months away from the start of the season, giving Garland plenty of time to get in-sync with his teammates.
Fedor also addressed the status of Kevin Porter Jr., who was also held out of summer league for precautionary reasons. He is apparently healthy and intending on taking part in a camp on Aug. 4 with other young up-and-coming players. So we should be seeing our first highlights of KPJ since he became a Cavs soon.