The Cavaliers are having a tough time with the injury bug early on in the season.
On Nov. 8, the team announced that starting shooting guard Collin Sexton would be out indefinitely with a left meniscus tear. Just eight days later, the Cavaliers announced they would be without their star rookie Evan Mobley for a few weeks due to a right elbow sprain.
When did the star rookie suffer the injury, how long is he expected to be out and how does this impact the Rookie of the Year race?
How long will Evan Mobley be out?
On Nov. 16, the Cavaliers announced that Mobley would be out for “two-to-four weeks” as he rehabs a sprained right elbow.
Mobley left Cleveland’s loss to the Celtics on Monday, Nov. 15 in the third quarter. The No. 3 overall pick looked off the entire night, scoring just one point while shooting 0-for-11 from the field, and he never returned once he went to the locker room.
On Nov. 26, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Mobley was planning to return to the lineup on Saturday, Nov. 27, making for an earlier return than expected.
Without Mobley, the Cavaliers went 0-4, losing to the Nets twice, Warriors and Suns.
How will Evan Mobley’s injury impact the Rookie of the Year race?
Mobley has played up to his No. 3 overall selection to this point in the season, averaging 14.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the field. According to NBA Stats, when the star rookie is on the floor, the Cavaliers boast what would be the best defensive rating in the NBA in holding opponents to 99.6 points per 100 possessions.
Mobley has started in all 15 games he has played in, building a strong case for Rookie of the Year, jockeying for the top spot with Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes, among others, early on.
With Mobley looking like he’s going to miss only four games, his absence won’t likely have much of an impact at all on the Rookie of the Year race, even with Barnes showing no signs of slowing down and other factors like No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham beginning to find his groove.
Remember, LaMelo Ball still took home Rookie of the Year last season and he missed 21 games due to an ankle injury during a crucial part of the season.