The Cleveland Cavaliers have won nine straight games and have climbed back into the Eastern Conference race, sitting in third place, only 3.5 games back of the conference-leading Boston Celtics. The good news is that help is on the way. The Cavaliers have three major stars sitting out injured but one of them looks like one of those stars will be back as soon as next week.

The injured Cleveland Cavaliers stars

There are three major stars for the Cleveland Cavaliers sitting out right now with injuries.

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The most prominent player is Isaiah Thomas who has been injured since the Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for him in the offseason. Thomas will be the starting point guard when he returns and there are rumors that could be before Christmas.

The second Cleveland Cavaliers [VIDEO] star injured is Derrick Rose, the player who opened the season as the starting point guard. Rose looked good when the season started but then injured his ankle. Rose has spent so much time injured since he won the NBA MVP that his frustration levels have him actually considering hanging things up and retiring from the NBA rather than returning to the Cavaliers this season.

The third player is Tristan Thompson. When the season started, the Cleveland Cavaliers moved Thompson to the bench and moved Kevin Love to the center position. After struggling through an early few losses, the Cavaliers brought Thompson back to the starting lineup and moved Love back to power forward. However, that ended when Thomson suffered a strained left calf on Nov. 1.

Which injured player is returning?

It looks like Tristan Thompson is ready to come back to play [VIDEO] for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The timeline on his injury was three to four weeks. Thompson has missed the last 13 games for the Cavaliers and has watched Cleveland win nine straight.

The successful winning streak might have something to do with the Cleveland Cavaliers holding off on bringing Tristan Thompson back right now. Cleveland plays the Atlanta Hawks (4-16) tonight as they go for their 10th straight victory. The Cavaliers reportedly want Thompson to get more reps in practice before they reactivate him for a game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers play the Chicago Bulls on Monday and then take on the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday and that seems like the best bet for fans to see Tristan Thompson back on the court in game action. With Jae Crowder and Kevin Love playing so well, Thompson might return as a bench reserve player again.