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Cavs' Shumpert needs wrist surgery, expected to miss at least 3 months

Akron Beacon Journal

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio _ The injuries that derailed last season's title run and lingered throughout the summer continue to plague a Cavaliers team that will now have to wait until at least December for a healthy roster.tmpplchld Iman Shumpert is expected to have right wrist surgery on Wednesday, which will require a three-month recovery, the Cavs announced. It was an unfortunate way to open the first day of training camp and served as the latest blow to a team already dealing with surgery rehabs for Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao and Timofey Mozgov. Varejao, at least, is fully cleared for camp. Irving did not participate in any team work Tuesday and the Cavs are now facing the possibility of opening the season without their starting backcourt.tmpplchld "I told you guys 1/8Monday3/8 that injuries will probably be the only thing that can stop us long term," LeBron James said. "This thing is a short-term thing. He'll still be there when we most need him."tmpplchld Shumpert missed six weeks with a separated shoulder last season, then fought shoulder and groin injuries during the playoffs. He has battled injuries throughout his career that have forced him out of about one-fourth of his team's games in his first four seasons.tmpplchld The injury caught the team by surprise when Shumpert reported for media day. He mentioned Monday injuring the wrist during a training session last week when he banged his right hand on the rim. Shumpert had a trainer, not affiliated with the Cavs, check the wrist at the time and he continued working out. The team sent him for an MRI on Monday as a precaution, which revealed a tear in the sheath that protects the tendon.tmpplchld The tendon is now unstable, Cavs general manager David Griffin said, and slides along the bone. Playing through the injury is not an option, Griffin said, although no one believes the week delay in having the injury properly diagnosed worsened it or impacted it in any way.tmpplchld "I think we look at this as a similar situation to what we went through in the playoffs: Next man up," Griffin said. "We have a roster we feel is deep enough to withstand one injury like this, so we're going to give people a chance to absorb it within."tmpplchld Shumpert's injury makes the offseason re-signing of J.R. Smith and the addition of Mo Williams even more vital. Williams has experience at shooting guard and the Cavs had ideas of using him off the ball even before Shumpert's injury. Now that becomes even more important.tmpplchld Williams split last season between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets and enjoyed a bit of a rebirth at 32. His 3-point percentage has declined each of the past five years and slipped to 34 percent last season, but he still averaged 14.2 points, scored a career-high 52 points for the Timberwolves and ended the season with his most points in five years.tmpplchld "A lot of teams wrote me off, a lot of general managers wrote me off and a lot of writers wrote me off," Williams said. "I used it as motivation. I use it as fuel."tmpplchld As for Shumpert, the injury postpones his summer's worth of work on ball-handling skills. He was a point guard in college and the Cavs tried him in that role sparingly last season, but he struggled running the offense. Shumpert conceded Monday people have always told him he dribbled too much, so he became too self-conscious anytime he took more than three or four dribbles on a possession. tmpplchld He went back to two-ball drills this summer and tightening his handle, but all of that is now postponed by surgery. He is in the first year of a four-year, $40 million extension that the two sides agreed on quickly in July.tmpplchld "Honestly I don't come from that much," Shumpert said Monday. "How much of a negotiation is it going to be? Playing in this league the last four years, I put myself in a ballpark, I already knew the ballpark I was going to be in. You get the deal done, you sign it and let's get ready to play. I don't need that distraction."tmpplchld ___tmpplchld (c)2015 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)tmpplchld Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.comtmpplchld Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.tmpplchld

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