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Dante Exum leaves Cavs-Magic with calf strain, will not return

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It’s not great, but butter than you might have thought.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Forty-four seconds into the Cleveland Cavaliers’ game against the Orlando Magic on Monday, Dante Exum went down with a non-contact injury and was subbed out for Cedi Osman.

Per the Cavs, Exum suffered a right calf strain and will not return. It’s not clear how serious the injury is beyond the initial diagnosis.

A calf strain isn’t great and could put Exum on the shelf for some time. For instance: It’s the same injury Kevin Love is currently dealing with and it’ll ultimately cause him to miss 3-4 weeks. Exum also has a lengthy injury history, so it might be wise to be cautious and bring him along slowly.

That said, the injury looked worse in real time when he just went down, immediately grabbed his leg and had to hop off the court on one foot. If it ultimately is just a calf strain and not something more catastrophic, that’s frankly good news.

For the Cavs, it leaves them even more shorthanded. In addition to Exum and Love, Isaac Okoro, Kevin Porter Jr., Darius Garland and Matthew Dellavedova are all out. And while Garland and Okoro are expected back sooner than the rest, Cleveland is not very thin on ball handlers. Expect some funky lineups as a result.