Cavaliers All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to miss more time with knee injury following treatment

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CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers have thrived with Donovan Mitchell in their lineup. They'll have to survive without him for a while.

Cleveland's All-Star guard will miss at least three more games — and possibly more — after receiving treatment for a bone bruise in his left knee.

Mitchell, who is averaging 28.0 points per game and career-highs in several other categories, has missed the past two games with the injury sustained in a Feb. 28 win at Chicago. The Cavs initially only said he was dealing with soreness.

On Monday, Mitchell received a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat the bone bruise. He's been ruled out for games this week against East-leading Boston, Atlanta and Minnesota. His status will be reevaluated this weekend, the team said.

The Cavs aren't close to being the same team without Mitchell, who played exceptionally well and moved into league MVP consideration while guard Darius Garland (broken jaw) and forward Evan Mobley (knee surgery) were out for an extended period with injuries.

With Mitchell leading the way, Cleveland went 23-5 leading into the All-Star break and climbed to No. 2 in the East behind the Celtics. The Cavs are currently third, one-half game behind the Milwaukee Bucks.

Mitchell also recently missed two games after the break with an unspecified illness. Cleveland has gone 7-6 without him.

He sat out Sunday night's home loss to New York, which lost All-Star guard Jalen Brunson in the first minute. However, the Knicks, who are missing three other starters, got major contributions from their bench.

The 27-year-old Mitchell is averaging 6.2 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals — all career bests. Cleveland acquired him in 2022 after he spent five seasons in Utah.

Mitchell has said he deserves MVP consideration, but per league rules he has to appear in 65 games to be eligible.

The Cavs will have to tap into their depth to offset Mitchell's absence, and Garland may have to carry more of the scoring load.

The 24-year-old Garland seems to have finally shaken off the rust and gotten back his strength following his six-week layoff. When his jaw was wired, Garland was restricted to a liquid diet and lost more than 10 pounds.

Garland made eight 3-pointers in a win at Detroit on Friday night, and he's connected on 20 3s in his past three games.

The Cavs will also be without guard Max Strus for Tuesday's nationally televised matchup with the Celtics. Strus strained his knee against the Knicks.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba