The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to be without another key player for a chunk of time, as Lauri Markkanen suffered an injury on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the team is reportedly gearing itself up to be without the 24-year-old “for a while.”
“The Cavs have their own injury concerns, especially with Lauri Markkanen suffering what sources believe is a high ankle sprain against the [Oklahoma City] Thunder,” wrote Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “Sources say X-rays taken were negative. But the organization is preparing to be without him for a while.”
Markkanen has been solid for the Cavs in his first season with the team. He is averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game so far in the 2021-22 campaign.
His numbers this season are down compared to his career averages of 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest. He even recorded 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in his second season in the league while playing for the Chicago Bulls.
Even so, his impact on the Cavs goes beyond the box score. When Markkanen has been on the floor, the Cavs have outscored opponents by a combined 178 points this season.
Clearly, he is an integral part of the team’s rotation. If the University of Arizona product does have to miss a significant period of time, Cleveland will have to find a way to make up for his production.
Cleveland has been one of the most pleasant surprises in the league this season. It is currently 28-19 and just a couple of games behind the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
For the first time since LeBron James left town, the organization has a good chance of reaching the postseason. Star guard Darius Garland even spoke recently about building a legacy that has nothing to do with the Los Angeles Lakers superstar.