Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol on Tuesday as rookie Evan Mobley was cleared to return to the team.
Garland, the team’s leading scorer averaging 19.5 points and 7.3 assists per game, missed Tuesday’s game with the New Orleans Pelicans along with Jarrett Allen, Ed Davis, RJ Nembhard, Lamar Stevens and Dylan Windler.
Mobley was listed as questionable hours before tipoff despite being medically cleared.
Cleveland entered the night with a 20–13 record, which was fifth-best in the Eastern Conference and only one game behind the current No. 3 team in the East (Milwaukee).
The 7-foot Mobley was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He is averaging 13.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.8 blocks in 25 starts this season.
Mobley, 20, was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for November but was nursing a hip injury when he entered COVID-19 protocol.