Derrick Rose's ankle injury a reminder why health is a concern for Cavs this season

MILWAUKEE -- After their offseason acquisitions, much was made of the Cleveland Cavaliers' improved depth this season. However, while they do have a deeper roster, they're relying on a number of players with shaky injury histories to keep it that way. 

Derrick Rose, of course, has missed a staggering 262 games since the 2011-12 season, and hasn't played more than 66 games in a season since 2010 -- his third year in the league. His partner in the Cavs' new backcourt, Dwyane Wade, has never been super as durable either. Similar to Rose, Wade has played more than 70 games just once in the past six seasons -- and now he's 35 years old. Then there's Kevin Love, who has a history of back and knee troubles, including knee surgery last season that kept him out for a long stretch in the second half. Cleveland also has the oldest roster in the league, with an average age of 30.1 years. No other team in the NBA has an average age in the 30s. 

Already without All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas until at least January or February, the Cavs cannot afford more injuries. Unfortunately, it seems that Rose has already suffered one. Cleveland's new starting point guard left Friday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks with an ankle injury, and head coach Tyronn Lue is expecting Rose to be out Saturday night as well. 

"Monroe knocked him down, he twisted his ankle, so we had to get him," Lue said of the injury. "I don't think [he'll need images], I know it's sprained. So just gotta see how he feels, but it doesn't look good right now." 

Asked specifically if he expected Rose to sit out against the Magic on Saturday, Lue added, "Kinda assuming that, yes."

While Rose's injury doesn't seem like a long-term issue, this does remind us why it's so important for Cleveland to stay healthy, and why people had some concerns its roster make-up heading into the season. 

LeBron James ended up playing 37 minutes in their win over the Bucks, picking up extra time when Rose had to leave the game. It worked out well because James is the best player in the world. Still, playing your 32-year-old superstar 37 minutes on a nightly basis is not a habit the Cavs should be getting into. Especially considering he entered the season with a bit of an ankle knock.

With both Thomas and Rose out -- as it appears will be the case Saturday -- the Cavs have limited options. One would be to just start LeBron at point, and play him extra minutes again. The other, as Lue expects to do against the Magic, would be to start Jose Calderon

"No, I'll probably start Jose," Lue said when asked about starting LeBron as the point guard. "Too early to [start LeBron at point]."

That is the smart option in order to protect LeBron. However, Calderon probably shouldn't be starting for one of the best teams in the league at this point in his career. 

Again, this ankle problem for Rose appears to not be too serious, and Cleveland isn't exactly overly concerned about regular-season games. However, life could be tough for LeBron and the Cavs if the team isn't able to stay healthy this season. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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