NBA Rumors: Beaten up Donovan Mitchell expect to miss more crucial time for Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers star guard is set to miss more crucial time as the push toward the playoffs arrives.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

NBA Rumors: Donovan Mitchell, who has struggled with multiple injuries of late, is set to miss more crucial time for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers remain in a dogfight with the Milwaukee Bucks for the second seed in the Eastern Conference. However, over the three weeks of the regular season, or since the NBA All-Star Break, the Cavs have been much more inconsistent compared to their pre-All-Star selves. Part of that has to do with the fact that Donovan Mitchell, the heart and soul of the team, has only appeared in five of the team's last 14 games.

Over the last 14 games, the Cavs are only 6-8. While they're only one game back of the Bucks for the second seed (in the loss column), they're also just two games ahead of the New York Knicks, who are getting healthy down the stretch and 2.5 games ahead of the surging Orlando Magic. If Cleveland isn't able to right the ship over the next couple of weeks, there's a very real chance they could fall out of the top 3 in the Eastern Conference standings heading into the playoffs.

Adding injury to insult, if the Cavs are going to turn things around, they might have to do it a bit longer without Mitchell in the lineup. According to a recent report, Mitchell is set to miss additional time due to knee soreness and a nasal fracture.

How much time is Donovan Mitchell going to miss?

Of course, the big question is how much time is Mitchell going to miss. As the Cavs attempt to play themselves into playoff shape over the final few weeks of the season, Mitchell's availability could ultimately determine where this team finishes heading into the postseason.

Without Mitchell in the lineup this season, the Cavs are 9-9. It's clear that if Cleveland is going to make any noise in the East, they need him on the roster. With Mitchell, the Cavs are a dark horse contender in the East. Without him, they're an average team at best.

The Cavs have had an encouraging season thus far as they've managed to navigate through big injuries to both Evan Mobley and Darius Garland. However, not having Mitchell healthy and in the lineup heading into the postseason could ultimately be the death blow that the Cavs have been trying to avoid all year long.

The good news is that, at least for now, it doesn't appear as if these nagging injuries for Mitchell are going to keep him out of the lineup for long. At the same time, carrying nagging injuries into the playoffs is never something you want your star player to be going through.

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