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Cavs’ No. 1 pick Bennett back playing 5-on-5 after surgery

Sep 19, 2013, 1:34 PM EDT

Anthony Bennett

Back before he could do a lot of pre-draft workouts, before he was the surprise No. 1 overall pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Anthony Bennett had surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Which is one of the reasons nobody really expected him to go No. 1.

He had the surgery in May because it meant he should be recovered in time for training camp — and that appears to be the case, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Bennett, however, began playing five-on-five without any restrictions this week for the first time since the surgery. He has played well, but needs to get in much better shape as the start of training camp nears.

The Cavaliers goal is to bring Bennett along a little slowly, bringing him off the bench and not trying to put too much pressure on the No. 1 pick. However, injuries might make that impossible, Spears notes.

The Cavaliers are expected to start Tristan Thompsonat power forward and not use Bennett at small forward this season, a source said. It is possible that if center Andrew isn’t able to return from his lingering knee injury by season’s start that Bennett could become the starting power forward if Thompson moves to center.

Anderson Varejao has been cleared of his blood clot issue that kept him on the bench last season and he could fit in that mix as well.

Still, Bynum is not expected to be ready for camp and if history is any indication the Cavaliers may need to use Bennett more than expected to cover for Bynum. Bennett has athleticism and length, but was always a bit of a project who was going to take some time to really have a big impact.

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