Thompson set to return for Cavaliers in a reserve role

The Cavaliers have won 14 of 15 and their defense has improved dramatically over the past month.

FILE - In this Friday, May 22, 2015 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) moves past Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) during the second half in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs in Atlanta. The Cavaliers and free-agent forward Tristan Thompson have agreed in principle on a five-year, $82 million contract, ending his holdout, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
FILE - In this Friday, May 22, 2015 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) moves past Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) during the second half in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs in Atlanta. The Cavaliers and free-agent forward Tristan Thompson have agreed in principle on a five-year, $82 million contract, ending his holdout, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) – Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson could play for the first time since Nov. 1 on Tuesday against Atlanta.

Thompson has been sidelined with a strained left calf. The team initially said Thompson would be out for up to four weeks, but he said Monday that timeline was inaccurate and that his injury was more serious. Thompson did not divulge any other details about the injury.

Coach Tyronn Lue says Thompson will not start when he returns, meaning Kevin Love will remain at center. Thompson says he’s fine with a reserve role and made it clear he’s willing to do whatever Lue needs.

The Cavaliers have won 14 of 15 and their defense has improved dramatically over the past month.

Thompson says he’ll have the same mindset on the floor as always and “just be myself. Being myself has worked out pretty well for me.”

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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