CLEVELAND — For the better part of the past month, Cleveland Cavaliers Darius Garland has been battling a back injury.
On Friday, Cavs general manager Mike Gansey -- who was promoted to the position earlier this week -- shed some light on the ailment, revealing that the All-Star point guard has been dealing with a bone bruise.
"He's good," Gansey during an appearance on 'The Ken Carman Show' on 92.3 The Fan. "Back things are a weird thing, man. It's nothing structural or anything wrong there. It's just, rest is the only thing for it right now."
Gansey's revelation comes one day after the injury forced Garland to sit out the Cavs' 106-103 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Thursday. With the 22-year-old point guard having previously missed five games since Jan. 31 due to the injury, some have speculated that he would have been better off not playing in last weekend's All-Star Game in Cleveland -- a notion that Gansey doesn't necessarily buy into.
"One day he feels great, the next day it's sore," Gansey said. "It's just kind of like a feel type of thing. He played the last two games (before the All-Star break) against Philly and Atlanta and felt OK.
"He got a couple of days [off] and started practicing and it's just sore again. It's a frustrating, nagging injury that rest is the only recipe for it to get better."
Regardless of how Cleveland has handled Garland's injury to this point, what isn't up for dispute is the Vanderbilt product's value to the Cavs. The No. 5 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft has enjoyed a breakout third season in Cleveland, averaging team-highs in points (20.3) and assists (8.0).
Garland's emergence has been one of the biggest reasons why the Cavs have vaulted into contention this season -- although Thursday's loss dropped Cleveland to the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
And while it doesn't appear that Garland is ready to return to the Cavs' lineup just yet, what is clear is that Cleveland will need him back sooner rather than later if it's going to pick up where it left off before the All-Star break.
"Unfortunately, with this stretch run, we don't have time," Gansey said. "But hopefully, we can kind of keep our head above water these next couple of games and see if he can get back. He's our All-Star point guard. We have the big three seven-footers in the back and all of that's great, but Darius makes that engine go. He's an All-Star for a reason. He gets those guys involved and he's our connector, our leader, our playmaker and we dearly miss him, that's for sure."