Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star center Jarrett Allen out with ankle injury

Jarrett Allen of the Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH — The Cleveland Cavaliers are grappling with an unexpected setback just weeks before the NBA regular season kicks off. All-Star center Jarrett Allen could be benched for the season opener due to a bone bruise in his left ankle, the team announced on Saturday.

The Injury

Allen, who underwent an MRI on Friday, will be out for at least two weeks, according to the Cavaliers. The 6-foot-11 player was injured during one of the team’s first training camp practices.

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However, Cavaliers’ coach J.B. Bickerstaff revealed that Allen has been dealing with the issue for some time.

“It’s just one of those things over time,” Bickerstaff said. “It was something that had been building.”

The Impact

Allen’s absence could be a significant blow to the Cavaliers, who are already facing a challenging season. Last season, Allen averaged 14.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks. His absence will be felt not just on the scoreboard but also in the team’s defensive setup.

“Allen anchors Cleveland’s defense, and his loss creates a major void inside,” Bickerstaff noted.

The Alternatives

In response to the setback, the Cavaliers have been exploring lineup alternatives. They acquired center Damian Jones in the offseason and re-signed free agent Tristan Thompson.

“It gives other people an opportunity,” Bickerstaff said, emphasizing that the team has versatile players who can fill in for Allen.

The Timeline

Based on the team’s current timeline, Allen will miss the club’s three exhibition games. His status for the season opener against the Brooklyn Nets on October 25 remains uncertain.

“I can’t give you an honest answer on that because it’s a bone, and everybody is different as far as how long those things take,” Bickerstaff said.

What’s Next?

The Cavaliers’ first home game is scheduled for October 27 against Oklahoma City. Whether Allen will be fit to play remains a question mark, adding another layer of complexity to a season that is already fraught with challenges.

In a league where injuries can dramatically alter the course of a season, the Cavaliers find themselves in a precarious position. As they scramble to fill the void left by Allen, the coming weeks will be a test of their resilience and adaptability.