Report: Darius Garland could return in Cavs’ next game on Wednesday vs. Pistons

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff offered a positive update on guard Darius Garland.

Garland has not played for the Cavs since Dec. 14 due to a fractured jaw, but it appears he could be nearing a return to the lineup.

According to’s Chris Fedor, Garland could return for the Cavs as soon as Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons.

“Sources tell that Garland could make his return on Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons — although no decisions have been made and there are a few conversations that must take place first,” Fedor wrote.

If Garland is able to come back for the Cavs this week, it would be a huge boost for the team, especially since big man Evan Mobley is back in the lineup. Cleveland has been able to stay afloat in the playoff picture without both players for over a month.

Garland, a one-time All-Star, had stayed back in Cleveland during a recent four-game road trip. It appears that was done to help him ramp up to a return to play.

“We just wanted to make sure he had everything he needed,” Bickerstaff said when asked about the plan for Garland. “These road trips get so jumbled with court time, traveling, weight rooms being the quality you are looking for and all those things, so we thought it was best for him to be at home, have all the amenities he needs to ramp himself up conditioning wise and basketball wise.”

This season, Garland is averaging 20.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc. He’s only appeared in 20 games for the Cavs.

Despite not having Garland – or Mobley – for such a long period of time, the Cavs are still the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 27-16 record. The team is hoping to add another win to that record on Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Garland has been a major piece of the Cavs’ rotation since being drafted with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

His return would give the Cavs another primary ball-handler in the rotation alongside Donovan Mitchell.

The Cavs play the Pistons on Wednesday, Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday and San Antonio Spurs on Saturday this week.

Hopefully, Garland will be back on the floor for at least one of those games as the Cavs prepare to make a playoff push in the 2023-24 season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.