Cavaliers injury update: Donovan Mitchell return date up in air after surgery

Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell underwent surgery to repair a nasal fracture, and now uncertainty surrounding his return date looms.

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

Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell is battered and bruised at this stage in the season, and the timing couldn’t be much worse as the team looks to finish the regular season as a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference.

Like everyone else in the Eastern playoff picture, the Cavs are looking to avoid a potential best-of-seven matchup with the Boston Celtics for as long as possible.

They will need Mitchell, who has missed eight of Cleveland’s last ten games, at full strength to do so with teams like the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic breathing down their necks.

Mitchell missed seven straight games from Mar. 1 to Mar. 11 due to a bone bruise in his left knee, but he suffered a nasal fracture against the Houston Rockets on Mar. 16, which forced him to miss the following game versus the Indiana Pacers.

Amid the uncertainty surrounding his health and potential return to action, the Cavs have released an official team statement which revealed Mitchell underwent a procedure on Mar. 19 to “realign the affected area.”

Donovan Mitchell has nasal procedure, return date up in the air

Mitchell will be re-evaluated in “approximately” one week per Cleveland’s announcement, meaning he will miss at least the next four games. However, uncertainty surrounding his timetable remains, and it’s not out of the question for his absence to extend beyond that.

At 43-25 as of Mar. 19, Cleveland ranks third in the conference standings, trailing the Milwaukee Bucks by one game and the Knicks and Magic sitting two and three games back of them for the No. 3 spot. However, the Cavs aren’t as threatening without Mitchell, posting a 10-9 record in the 19 contests he has missed this season.

Without Mitchell’s average stats of 27.4 points, 6.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game on wildly efficient .468/.373/.862 shooting splits, it’s not shocking to see Cleveland look more like a .500 basketball club than a legitimate title contender.