The Cleveland Cavaliers are getting closer to full strength, as shooting guard Iman Shumpert will likely make his season debut against the Orlando Magic on Friday night. Unfortunately, star point guard Kyrie Irving still isn’t ready to return from knee surgery.
Shumpert has missed the entire season to date thanks to a wrist injury suffered right before training camp. He underwent surgery and was expected to miss about three months, but he’s returning a little ahead of that timetable.
Shumpert played a key role for the Cavaliers last season after coming over from the New York Knicks along with J.R. Smith in a trade. While a streaky shooter, Shumpert is a solid perimeter defender who will bolster Cleveland’s defense.
Meanwhile, Irving may not be playing Friday, but there’s a good chance he plays in the Cavaliers’ next game. Cleveland doesn’t play again until Tuesday against the Boston Celtics, so he’ll get a few extra days to prepare, and perhaps he’ll give it a go then. The Cavaliers, who’ve been struggling a bit of late, could certainly use his offensive firepower back in the lineup.
Smith also won’t be playing on Friday due to an illness.