Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. is headed for an extended absence on the sideline
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, Nance fractured a finger on his left hand Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks. As a result, he will “likely” undergo surgery and will miss 4-6 weeks.
Reporting with @WindhorstESPN: Cleveland F Larry Nance Jr., is expected to be lost four-to-six weeks with a fractured finger on his left hand, sources tell ESPN. Nance will likely undergo surgery.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2021
Nance himself seemingly alluded to the news in a tweet sent out minutes before ESPN report:
— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) February 7, 2021
This is a blow for the Cavs. Nance had already not entirely not looked like himself after being in and out of the lineup with a wrist injury and this new injury will put one of the Cavs’ best and most important players to the sideline. At power forward, Nance is an ultimate glue guy: he passes, he shoots, he rebounds, defends and fills in the gaps anywhere he can. He’s also in the middle of arguably his best season, shooting a career-high from three and is second in the NBA in steals per game.
With Nance out, Kevin Love’s impending return couldn’t come at a better time at least to stabilize the power forward position. Until Love is actually back, though, Taurean Prince would seem likely to start at power forward as he did when Nance first was out with his wrist injury. And unless Dean Wade is put back into the rotation, it seems likely Cleveland will play smaller over the next several weeks while Nance is out.