<
>

Iman Shumpert (wrist surgery) expected to make season debut

play
Shumpert's return should help Cavs (0:51)

Dave McMenamin breaks down what the return of Iman Shumpert will mean for the Cavaliers. (0:51)

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Iman Shumpert was added to the Cleveland Cavaliers' active roster and plans to play Friday against the Orlando Magic after missing the first 21 games of the season with a right wrist injury.

"It's just a feel-out thing," Shumpert said Friday morning before a Cleveland shootaround in preparation for the Magic. "It's been a long road. They don't want to rush me back. I don't want to rush back. But it's definitely a feel-out thing. If we go through shootaround and everything is straight, I'm going to try to give it a go."

Cavaliers coach David Blatt said the team was "hopeful" Shumpert would be able to play.

The Cavs' other injured guard, Kyrie Irving, joined the team on its two-game road trip to Orlando and Boston but will not play against the Magic.

"Not yet," Blatt said. "We're here for a few days and we're going to be working, and every day he's doing a little bit more. But I can't say he's ready yet."

Cleveland will hold practices in Orlando on Sunday and Monday before flying to Boston for Tuesday's game against the Celtics, which will allow Irving to nearly double the three sessions he's been able to participate in so far after being cleared for full-contact drills.

Shumpert's availability comes at a welcome time, as the Cavs' starting shooting guard, J.R. Smith, is not with the team, staying back in Cleveland because of an illness. While Smith could rejoin the group before the Celtics game, he has been ruled out against the Magic.

Shumpert had wrist surgery for an injury suffered days before training camp and has been out all season.

The injury occurred when Shumpert hit his wrist on the rim while throwing down an alley-oop dunk. Consequently, the final stages of Shumpert's rehabilitation have involved the fifth-year guard dunking the ball repeatedly to test himself both mentally and physically.

"More and more, I'm trying to dunk the ball and harder and harder," Shumpert said. "First coming back, you still dunk but you're not trying to tear the rim down like you normally would. So, it's a comfort thing and I'm getting better with it."

Cleveland has gotten off to a 14-7 start in the East without Shumpert or Irving. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors, the team that beat the Cavs in the Finals, have started off 23-0. Have the Cavs' injuries, coupled with the Warriors' run, made people forget about Cleveland?

"Happy birthday to the Warriors for what they're doing, but we got to worry about what we got going on," Shumpert said.

With the Cavs almost at full strength for the first time all season, LeBron James said it will create a new challenge for Blatt: Going from having too few players to too many.

"Coach has a tough task being that we have so many guys that can play. He has to figure out how he can put 12 guys on the floor for 48 minutes," James said. "So it's tough for him."