Cavaliers get positive injury update on All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell

The Cleveland Cavaliers are nearing full strength after recent reports suggest All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell is on the verge of returning to the lineup.

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

Slowly but surely, the Cleveland Cavaliers are becoming whole again, which is scary for the rest of the league.

Big man Evan Mobley made his return from a nine-game absence last Sunday, Max Strus appears to be on the verge of being reinstalled into the starting lineup after missing Cleveland’s last 12 contests, and now they get positive injury news on their All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell.

Donovan Mitchell nearing return for Cavaliers

Mitchell is reportedly “targeting a return to action” as soon as Friday, when the Cavs host the Philadelphia 76ers, per The Athletic’s Senior NBA insider Shams Charania. He has been out since Mar. 16 due to a nasal fracture and lingering knee issue, and Cleveland has lost three of their last five meetings without him.

After receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection on Mar. 4 to treat his left knee, Mitchell missed the Cavs following five games before returning for their next two contests, and it was clear he wasn’t at full strength. Then he broke his nose in his second game back, which required surgery and nearly two more weeks of missed time.

But after sitting out 12 of Cleveland’s last 14 games, Mitchell could be available for their next matchup versus the 76ers, and the timing couldn’t be much better considering how tight the Eastern Conference standings are.

Sitting at 44-28 and in third place in the East, the Cavs trail the Milwaukee Bucks by two games for the No. 2 seed, but the New York Knicks (one game back) and Orlando Magic (1.5 games back) are closing the gap behind them.

Mitchell is averaging 27.4 points, a career-high 6.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc on 9.1 attempts per game this season, so his impending return is critical for the Cavs' rest-of-season outlook.