Cavs’ Thompson set to return, Lue says

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson suffered an ankle injury over the weekend.

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson is expected to return for Tuesday’s home game vs. the Atlanta Hawks, but as expected, will not start.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue broke the news to reporters at Monday’s practice. Thompson has been out since Nov. 1 with a strained left calf.

“Everyone goes through it and Tristan is a big part of what we do, so we gotta figure out how we got to use him,” Lue told the media. “We gotta do that so I have a plan in place and we’ll see how it works.”

The Cavs have won 14 of 15 and recently tied a franchise-best winning streak of 13 games (before losing to Indiana on Friday).

Kevin Love has been starting at center and will remain in that spot after Thompson is officially cleared to play. Thompson will therefore battle for minutes with reserve big man Channing Frye, who has played well during the Cavs’ winning stretch.

“I don’t care. If I don’t play, that’s fine,” Thompson told the media. “As long as we’re winning I’m going to cheer my teammates on. If I play two minutes, three minutes, 20 minutes, it don’t matter to me. As long as we win.”

Lue added there is no set date for the Cavs debut of Isaiah Thomas. The All-Star point guard has taken part in four-on-four and three-on-three scrimmages within the past week.