The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the 2022-23 season with more hype than they’ve had since LeBron James left, coming off of a run to the play-in last year with a pair of young All-Stars, a ROY runner-up, and added Donovan Mitchell to the roster.
Their first game figured to be a litmus test as they went on the road to face the Raptors, with both teams able to measure up against a squad that figures to be in the hunt for a playoff spot in the East this season. Unfortunately, the excitement for the Cavs turned into concern in the second quarter when Darius Garland got poked in the eye by Gary Trent Jr. who reached in late trying to steal the ball in the backcourt, with his pinkie finger jabbing Garland’s left eye.
As the two teams came out for the second half, Garland was not with them as the Cavs announced he had a left eye injury and would not return for the game.
Darius Garland has a left eye injury – he is being being evaluated by team trainers & doctors. He will not return tonight.
— Cayleigh Griffin (@cayleighgriffin) October 20, 2022
Hopefully the injury is not severe enough to keep him out for an extended period of time, but it’s always scary when this type of situation happens and someone takes a finger to the eye. The Cavs struggled mightily last season without their All-Star guard, which was part of the reason they went out and got Mitchell to help ease the burden on Garland creatively and also to have someone else who could run the show when he sat (or in this case, was out with an injury).