Thursday, December 11, 2008
Ilgauskas expected to miss 2 games
CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas is expected to miss at least two games after spraining his left ankle in a win at Philadelphia on Wednesday, the second significant Cleveland player to go down with an injury this week.
Ilgauskas rolled his ankle when he tried to block former teammate Donyell Marshall's shot in the fourth quarter and came down on the foot of the 76ers forward. The 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas, who had reconstructive surgery on his left foot a few years back, was able to limp to the locker room without assistance.
X-rays taken on Ilgauskas' ankle were negative, but the Cavaliers, who have won 10 straight games and are 18-1 since Nov. 3, said he will sit out Friday's home game against Philadelphia. The team called it a moderate sprain but did not provide a timetable on Ilgauskas' return in its statement and said his status will be "updated as appropriate."
General manager Danny Ferry believes Ilgauskas will also miss Cleveland's game on Saturday in Atlanta, the first stop on a four-game road trip.
Ilgauskas' injury came one game after reserve guard Daniel Gibson was lost for two weeks when he sprained a big toe in a win over Toronto.
Without Ilgauskas, the Cavs' leading rebounder at 7.6 per game, coach Mike Brown will have to juggle his starting lineup as well as the minutes for his reserves.
Anderson Varejao could take Ilgauskas' place in the starting lineup, but that would mean he would be playing alongside Ben Wallace. Neither big man is known for their offensive skills, so Brown may opt to move LeBron James from small forward to power forward and start Wally Szczerbiak up front with Wallace.
Ilgauskas has been playing some of the best ball of his career this season. He's averaging 14.8 points and became Cleveland's career rebounding leader in the win over the Raptors.