Darius Garland will play for the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday for the first time since Oct. 19, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Garland returned for his first full-contact practice on Tuesday after he sustained a serious left eye injury last month.
Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff initially announced on Monday that Garland, who missed their last five games, would be listed as questionable for Wednesday's game against the Boston Celtics.
“We’ll see tomorrow,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, via The Associated Press. “He went through everything [today]. It’s how he’s feeling tomorrow and what the swelling looks like. But he was good today.
“He’s done enough to go ahead and play if he’s gonna play.”
Garland left Cleveland’s season opener last month after Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. accidentally poked him in his left eye while trying to deflect an incoming pass.
Garland fell to the court after Trent made contact, and then needed help walking back to the locker room.
Darius Garland eye injury, hope he comes back 2nd half pic.twitter.com/tdmIEzoXgZ
— Ted Buddwell 🏀🏈 (@TedBuddy8) October 20, 2022
Thankfully, Garland avoided any structural damage and did not need surgery. He has been sitting on Cleveland’s bench wearing dark glasses, and has tried using protective goggles — though he didn’t wear them on Tuesday.
And, though it’s been limited, Bickerstaff feels he’s been plenty involved during his time on the sideline.
"He's watching with an eye on what's happening and why it's happening," Bickerstaff said. “So when he does come back he understands and he's participating even though he's not out on the floor."
Garland averaged a career-high 21.7 points and 8.6 assists last season while earning his first All-Star nod. The 22-year-old is in the final year of a four-year, $29 million deal. The Cavaliers, after losing their season opener, have won five straight games without Garland headed into Wednesday night.