“Sources tell cleveland.com that Mobley, who underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery on Dec. 18, is trending toward a highly anticipated return Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers,” Fedor wrote.
“For Mobley, who prides himself on being a fast healer, it is a remarkable recovery, with him coming back exactly six weeks after surgery.”
Getting Mobley back in the lineup would be huge for the Cavs, who are currently the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland has been able to stay afloat in the playoff picture thanks to some great play from players like Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen. Now, Mobley should bring even more depth to the team when he returns.
Mobley appears to have landed on the shorter side of his original timetable to return, an impressive feat for the big man, as he was given a prognosis that could have gone up to eight weeks.
“While the initial injury timeline pointed to a 6-8-week recovery period and the Cavs usually take a cautious approach, Mobley has methodically attacked the strenuous rehab process with the right mindset and recently took part in full-contact practice,” Fedor wrote. “He continues to improve steadily. He has cleared every step without issue. The intensity of his workouts keeps increasing daily. He is running up and down the floor with grace and force.”
While Mobley may return to action on Monday, it likely won’t be in his normal role. Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff revealed that the team plans to ease the young forward back into action.
“It will probably be a low-20-minute-a-night workload to start with,” Bickerstaff told Cleveland.com. “We’ve got to ramp him back up. When you go down with a knee injury, not a lot of conditioning that you can do and those types of things. You can’t simulate the NBA. We will work on that. We will let him get his conditioning back. The minutes will increase as that gets better.”
Even though Mobley won’t get his usual playing time to start, having him on the floor in any capacity is a win for the Cavs. A Defensive Player of the Year candidate last season, Mobley gives the Cavs a ton of rim protection and switchability in the frontcourt.
This season, Mobley is averaging 16.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 57.3 percent from the field. He’s only played in 21 games, but the Cavs are 27-16 on the season.
With veteran Tristan Thompson getting suspended recently, Mobley should help the team fix any issues with frontcourt depth.
The Cavs and Clippers are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. EST on Monday night.