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LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith will be sidelined 12-14 weeks after surgery to repair his broken thumb, the NBA champions said Friday.
Smith suffered a complex fracture of his right thumb in the Cavaliers’ 114-108 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
The lengthy absence of the 31-year-old will put a burden on Cavaliers superstar LeBron James and his teammates, even though Smith’s averages this season of 8.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per match are far from his 12.4 points per match last season.
Cleveland, who lead the Eastern Conference with 21 victories in 21 games, are already without center Chris Andersen for the remainder of the season after he tore a knee ligament in practice last Friday.