Neither Kyrie Irving nor Iman Shumpert have played a single game for the Cavaliers this season as they work their way back from injuries, and while there's no official timetable for their respective returns, a positive step toward that goal was made on Monday as both players participated in a restricted form of team practice.
There's absolutely no rush where either player is concerned. The Cavaliers want to be at full strength for a run through the postseason that will begin in mid-April of 2016, so bringing any injured player back before they're 100 percent would be extremely short-sided.
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All that matters is having the roster intact for a couple of months before then so that chemistry can be solidified and rotations can be secured, and it appears as though Irving and Shumpert will be able to return in plenty of time for the Cavaliers to figure things out.
Both guards made their practice debuts Monday, but only played in portions of the session, according to head coach David Blatt. He said the coaching staff was “able to gauge them in moderated fashion.”
“We had a moderated practice that we were able to get them to take part in a good piece of it,” Blatt said. “Day-to-day, making a little bit more progress.”
Shumpert is now shooting with his right hand without restriction. He had surgery on his right wrist in November.
Irving has ramped up his activities over the last two weeks as he's recovering from surgery on the fractured left kneecap he suffered in June. He has been seen getting shots up at The Q before games.
The three-time All-Star is expected to speak with members of the media on Wednesday.
Neither player has been cleared for full basketball activities. The two joined in some contact drills, but Blatt wouldn't reveal the extent of their involvement.