Cavaliers guard Darius Garland cleared for on-court activities after jaw injury

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, front left, sits on the bench during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Darius Garland received the green light to resume some on-court activities Wednesday, a month after his jaw was broken playing against the Boston Celtics.

During a run-of-the-mill drive in the lane, the Cleveland Cavaliers guard collided with Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis on Dec. 14. This left Garland confined to a liquid diet and sitting on the sideline as his jaw healed.

The 23-year-old just had the wiring on his jaw removed Monday. Based on the initial prognosis, Garland is still expected to be out another two weeks.

He was averaging 20.7 points and 5.9 assists, and Cleveland was 13-12 at the time of the injury. The team has now gone 12-3 during his absence. Since losing the first game of the new year, the Cavaliers are on a five-game winning streak.

Possibly even more impressive is the fact that Cleveland has enjoyed this success with power forward Evan Mobley also being sidelined. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in December and isn't expected back until next month.

The Cavs play their next game Wednesday, when they host the Milwaukee Bucks. Cleveland will then begin a four-game road trip against the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic and back-to-back games against the Milwaukee Bucks.

At the midway point of the season, the Cavaliers sit at second in the Central Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference.