TORONTO (AP) — Cavaliers All-Star point guard Darius Garland left Wednesday’s season-opening loss at Toronto in the second quarter after injuring his left eye in a collision with Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr.
Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said Garland was bleeding from a cut inside the left eyelid after Trent accidentally poked Garland in the eye with 3:51 to play in the first half.
Garland received attention on the court before returning to the locker room for treatment.
“His head was clear and all those things, but he was cut and bleeding pretty bad from the inside of his eyelid,” Bickerstaff said.
Garland shot 2 for 8 and scored four points in 13 minutes. He had three assists and five turnovers.
“To see DG go down there, it’s tough,” new Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell said. “I’m proud of the way this group responded.”
Toronto outscored Cleveland 57-48 in the second half and won 108-105.
Bickerstaff said it was tough for the Cavaliers to overcome Garland’s absence.
“You miss an all-star,” Bickerstaff said. “You talk about being able to stagger his and Donovan’s minutes so that one of those guys is always on the floor. We know through history what Darius is capable of and how he can carry an offense as well.”
"He's a fighter. He's a competitor. He's gonna be back strong."
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) October 20, 2022
A fourth-year player from Vanderbilt who was drafted fifth overall in 2019, Garland was an all-star for the first time last season when he averaged career-highs of 21.7 points and 8.6 assists in 68 games.
Garland signed a five-year, $193 million contract extension with Cleveland in July, the largest deal in franchise history.