The Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled with injuries to key players throughout the season. They haven’t been able to witness a fully healthy roster all year long, but they will get one of their key role players back on Monday.

After a one-game absence, Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith will return to the lineup in Monday’s Christmas day bout against the Golden State Warriors.

Smith missed Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls due to knee soreness, in which the Cavaliers squeezed out a 115-112 victory. Head Coach Tyronn Lue also missed the game due to an illness, but he, too, will return to the sidelines on Monday.

The Cavaliers, however, will still be without All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, and Iman Shumpert. Thomas is nearing a return, as he is rehabbing in the G-League with Cavaliers' affiliate Canton.

The matchup with Golden State

This matchup will feature a rematch of the 2017 NBA Finals. It is the most highly anticipated matchup each season since these two teams have met in the Finals three consecutive seasons. While the game should still be very exciting, injuries for both teams takes a little away from the matchup.

Warriors’ injury list

The Warriors will almost positively be without superstar guard Stephen Curry, as he continues to nurse an ankle injury that has caused him to miss eight games.

Curry has progressed well in his recovery, but Steve Kerr confirmed that there is a 99.9% chance that Curry misses the Christmas day game.

The Warriors may also be without starting center Zaza Pachulia and backup point guard Shawn Livingston. Pachulia has missed the last seven games with a shoulder injury, while Livingston has been sidelined for four games with a knee injury.

Thankfully for the Warriors, All-Star forward Draymond Green returned to action Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. He had been nursing a sore shoulder for four games.

With all these players out for Golden State, Kevin Durant had been shouldering the weight. The 2014 MVP has been averaging 32.2 points per game without Curry in the lineup.

The Warriors are currently the hottest team in the league, riding an 11-game winning streak. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, have won 19 of the last 21 games.

Having Smith back into the lineup doesn’t make too much of a difference, but he is a key figure in Cleveland’s offense due to his ability to shoot from the perimeter. He is awfully streaky, and the Cavaliers could use all the help they can get Monday afternoon.

The Cavaliers and Warriors will tipoff at 3 pm Eastern Time on Christmas day on ABC.