Report: Tyronn Lue to Rejoin Cavaliers as Observer vs. Pelicans After Leave

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue points during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue will return from a leave of absence for Friday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Lue will be at the game as an observer, with the goal to have him coaching before Cleveland's four-game homestand ends April 5.

Lue announced he was stepping away from the team March 19 to focus on his health. He has missed six games since then, with the Cavs going 5-1.

The 40-year-old former NBA point guard explained he was dealing with "chest pains and other troubling symptoms," along with sleep loss.

He continued:

"While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the championship we are all working towards."

Acting head coach Larry Drew said the Cavaliers rallied around Lue and discussed how it showed the team's resilience.

"When you look at our year and everything that has happened, we have persevered," Drew told reporters. "And to me, that's a sign of a team that is mentally strong and a team that is mentally capable. Personally, I'm very proud of how they've responded to everything. They could've gone the other way, but they didn't. They've responded very well."

It's been an up-and-down season for Cleveland (45-30), which underwent a massive roster reconstruction before February's trade deadline.

The Cavs have shown signs of rounding into form at the perfect time in recent weeks. So while the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics have led the Eastern Conference for most of the campaign, it will be hard to bet against a LeBron James-led squad in the postseason.

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