Dion Waiters insists the only thing he’s been fighting is the flu.
The Cavaliers’ starting guard returned to practice Monday after missing two games with "flu-like symptoms" and denied he had been in a physical confrontation during a players-only meeting last week following a loss in Minnesota.
Reports of a possible altercation surfaced over the weekend. They were fueled by Waiters’ absence from games against Charlotte and Washington as well as All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving’s black eye and broken nose.
"I’d rather fight somebody else on the other team than one of my teammates," Waiters said after practice. "That’s the way it is. That’s the way I was brought up. I feel as though we say we’re family, then we’re a family and I’m going to look out for you to the best of my abilities. All the other stuff is foolishness."
The Cavs, who have struggled during the early portion of this season, were blown out by 29 points last week by the Timberwolves. After the game, Cleveland’s players met privately to clear the air.
Waiters said the discussion was helpful.
"We got it off our chests," he said. "I think we needed it and we can move forward. We’re men. Nobody got into no altercations or anything like that. We got everything off our chests that we needed. That’s that. All the other rumors, man, are rumors. Don’t believe it. It’s not true.
"We talked. Everybody talked. Nobody put their hands on nobody."
Waiters did not play in Friday’s loss to the Bobcats or Saturday’s overtime win against the Wizards. Irving, who has been playing with a mask to protect a fracture nasal fracture, scored 41 points in the win over Washington.
Cavs coach Mike Brown expects Waiters to play Wednesday, when Cleveland hosts Washington. Waiters has started nine games this season, but Brown said he has not decided how he’ll use the second-year guard.
"I’m not sure. I’ve put guys in and out of the lineup," Brown said. "I’m still searching. Every time we step on the floor, I feel like we’re getting closer to a group of guys I think can play together for an extended period of time."
Waiters, the fourth overall pick last year, is averaging 13.3 points and 3.1 rebounds.