INDEPENDENCE — C.J. Miles is about to return, but Anthony Bennett is expected to miss three weeks.
Miles, who has missed nine games with a sprained ankle, said after practice Monday at Cleveland Clinic Courts that he expects to play during the Cavaliers’ upcoming three-game road trip.
The swingman’s return could come as early as Wednesday, when the Cavs (24-40), losers of four straight and seven of their last nine, begin the trip with a game in Phoenix.
“If not the first game, I’m sure I’ll be able to play on this trip the way I’ve been feeling the last couple days,” Miles said. “My biggest thing is as anxious as I am, not to overdo it.
“I’m going crazy,” he added. “My life is in shambles. I’m walking around ready to pull my hair out. Obviously, I want to be able to help my team.”
Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving didn’t practice Monday due to an illness, but coach Mike Brown said he expects the third-year pro to play in Phoenix.
Meanwhile, Bennett’s adventurous rookie season took another down turn. The Cavs announced the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft will be out approximately three weeks with a strained tendon in his left knee. Bennett’s injury was diagnosed Sunday after an examination by team physician Dr. Richard Parker at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health.
There are 18 games and approximately 4½ weeks left in the regular season, so there’s a possibility the 6-foot-8 forward, whose playing time had decreased again in recent games, could be done for the year.
Even given Bennett’s misfortune, the Cavs will be at close to full strength — Anderson Varejao (back) and Dion Waiters (knee) recently returned to action — as they begin one of the toughest portions of their schedule.
After the Phoenix game, Cleveland plays at Golden State on Friday and at the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, then returns to Quicken Loans Arena for games against Miami, Oklahoma City and Houston.
“We’ve just got to keep pushing,” said Miles, who will likely come off the bench when he’s ready to play. “We can’t let ourselves beat ourselves. That’s the biggest thing.
“We’ve had stretches where we’re winning and we haven’t really handled it the way we wanted to,” he added. “Losing, we haven’t handled it the way we wanted to, either. It’s getting to the point where we need to worry about the task at hand.”
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.