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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. had an undetermined illness that caused him to lose almost 20 pounds, according to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor.
“Thursday will be Nance’s fifth straight absence and despite finally turning the corner on Wednesday and being ‘on the mend,’ as one source said, Nance probably won’t play in the weekend back-to-back at home, with the training staff wanting him to regain some of the lost weight and stamina first,” Fedor wrote. “He is eager to return.”
Fedor reported the ailment in question isn’t COVID-19 but that “every test he received in hopes of labeling the illness came back negative.”
Nance has been limited to 29 appearances this season, with a fractured finger leaving him out for 12 straight games across February and early March.
The 28-year-old has been a tone-setter on a young team that’s still working through the issues that inevitably arise when a franchise is building for the future. He’s averaging 10.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals.
Nance’s work at the 4 also helped fill the void left by Kevin Love, who’s averaging 18.3 minutes per game in just seven appearances.
The Cavs are 18-32 and could conceivably close the 3.5-gap on the 10th-place Chicago Bulls to qualify for the play-in tournament. Getting a healthy Nance back would obviously help improve those odds.