Mobley suffered the injury with about three minutes left in the third quarter on Monday in a loss to the Boston Celtics. He appeared to make a play on the ball but was inadvertently hit in the elbow by Enes Kanter. He came up clutching his elbow but remained in the game.
The third overall pick finished out the period and would eventually check out of the game at the 11:04 mark of the fourth quarter. He would not return and was diagnosed with a sprained right elbow.
“It happens a lot,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said on Tuesday. “Guys get tangled up — they are going for rebounds, loose balls. It wasn’t a dirty play or anything like that. It was just two guys playing basketball and this happened.”
The injury capped off a tough performance for Mobley, who finished with one point in 28 minutes of work. He missed all 11 shot attempts from the field but added nine rebounds, five assists and one blocked shot in the 98-92 loss.
The loss of Mobley will further highlight the Cavaliers’ injury concerns. The team will also be without Jarrett Allen as they face the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday while Collin Sexton, Kevin Love, Lauri Markkanen and Lamar Stevens are also out due to various injuries.
Mobley has emerged as perhaps the top rookie to this point of the season. He is averaging 14.6 points, eight rebounds, 1.6 blocked shots and one assist in 15 games. He is second in scoring and rebounding among first-year players, while he is first in blocks and double-doubles.
The Cavaliers will certainly be cautious with the injury to Mobley and not rush him back into action too quickly. He is considered to be a franchise cornerstone and projects to have a bright future ahead.
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