Cavs list 6 players out against Suns in brutal injury report

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Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have ruled out Donovan Mitchell (knee), Max Strus (knee), Ty Jerome (ankle), Evan Mobley (ankle), Tristan Thompson (suspension) and Dean Wade (personal reasons) for Monday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns.

It’s a brutal blow for the Cavs, who have been without Mitchell – their All-Star guard – for the last six games. The team is just 3-3 in that stretch.

Mitchell is dealing with a bone bruise in his knee, but it appears that he is nearing a return to the lineup for Cleveland even though he won’t suit up on Monday.

As for Mobley, one of the team’s defensive anchors, he may be facing a longer absence. It was reported after Mobley injured his ankle against the Boston Celtics that he “will be out awhile.” Mobley already missed time this season after undergoing surgery on his knee.

Jerome and Thompson were expected to be out of the lineup for Cleveland, but losing Strus and Wade as well means the team will be down four players that would usually be in the rotation.

Strus has missed the last four games for Cleveland with a right knee strain. The sharpshooter is averaging 12.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game this season while shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 34.0 percent from 3.

With both Strus and Mitchell out, the Cavs will likely rely more on Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Sam Merrill and Craig Porter Jr. Darius Garland will likely be the top option for Cleveland’s attack, but all of those players saw time in the Cavs’ loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

Wade, who was the hero in the team’s win over Boston, did not play in Sunday’s loss either. Georges Niang started that game and finished with 20 points to lead Cleveland. It’s possible he gets another starting nod on Monday.

Sunday’s loss pushed Cleveland to the No. 3 seed in the East, 0.5 games back of the Milwaukee Bucks. Still, Cleveland has a four-game cushion on the No. 4-seeded New York Knicks.

Phoenix will certainly be a tough test, especially with Devin Booker (probable) likely returning to the lineup for the Suns. The team enters the game with a 37-27 record, which is good for sixth in the West.

The Cavs and Suns will tip off at 7:30 p.m. EST on Monday night in Cleveland.

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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.