The big men for the Cleveland Cavaliers have not had what you would call an ideal time over training camp and the start of the NBA preseason. For starters, Andrew Bynum has yet to be cleared for basketball activities. Then we have the fact that first-overall pick Anthony Bennett still isn’t near in the right condition for the season.
Beyond those two higher-profiled players, center Tyler Zeller has had the hardest time of any of the Cavs frontcourt. Early on in training camp he injured his hip during a scrimmage, which actually caused that particular practice to end that. That injury, which kept him out of the Cavs’ first preseason game, turned out to only be the beginning of his early struggles.
According to a report from Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal, Zeller had to receive an emergency appendectomy on Friday. Obviously he won’t be playing anytime soon after having surgery, but there is no timetable set right now for his return to the Cavs.
With Bynum still not being cleared, not having Zeller puts the Cavaliers into somewhat of a pickle. Cleveland obviously still has a solid option as their starter in Anderson Varejao, but without Zeller, they really don’t have any viable options to come off of the bench at the center position.
If Zeller is going to be out until sometime early in the regular season, that will likely open up the door for either DeSagana Diop or Henry Sims to make the roster early in the season as a backup center until Zeller is able to take the floor once again. If that’s the case, though, this Cavs team could have a hard time realizing their potential early on this year.