NBA rumors: Kevin Love unlikely to return before All-Star break

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is on this quick two-game trip with his teammates so he can continue to rehab a high-grade strained right calf, but the five-time All-Star is “unlikely” to return until after the NBA All-Star break, league sources tell

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Kevin Love: And so I've gone almost 10 months now without playing basketball, like, when I previously my whole identity was wrapped up in basketball, thankfully, it's not. But there's been guys that have their entire identity in basketball that have had it taken away from them. There have been a lot of injuries this year, a lot of non contact injuries as well. So I think that is just another level to this, when you love the game so much, and you have it taken away from you, it can be really, really tough on your mental health.
JJ Redick: When I'm hurt, I feel guilty. Kevin Love: Oh, my God! That's so funny you said that... I have regrets! Like I'm getting, like, and for what? It's not my fault. That's what I was just telling the assistant coach today, a guy that I love, Dan Geriot, I was like, 'you see me, you see how hard that I attack injuries and how hard I work. Like I don't have to tell you, but I'm telling you just because I feel guilty. Like I feel like I'm letting you guys down in the way you are.' And you know, you get on top of that you get paid all this money to put a ball through a hoop and fans and people ask when you're going to be back. On the other side of that, too, it makes me feel guilty because people don't understand, like the difference between a grade one, grade two, grade three, and I have a grade twi and people are like, 'why aren't you back in three or four weeks?!' I'm like, I can't explain it to you. Because I'm not going to chirp back at you or I'm not going to, you know, text you back something that's just like, I'm taking care of it. I'm busting my ass to get back. But boy, I feel so guilty more than anything. It's like letting your teammates down.
About an hour before tipoff on Saturday night, for nearly 30 minutes, Cleveland Cavaliers injured power forward Kevin Love went through an individual on-court workout -- another positive step in his recovery from a strained right calf.
The Cavs open a five-game West Coast road trip on Monday in Phoenix. When asked if Love would be able to participate in any of those upcoming games, a source said it was “highly unlikely, but we’ll see.” The Cavs would prefer to have Love practice first, allowing him to test the injury, before bringing him back -- and that plan is complicated given the jampacked schedule over the next week.
Kevin Love will be back in the starting lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night against the Pistons after the star forward missed the season opener with a calf injury. Love had been sidelined since the team's first exhibition game against Indiana on Dec. 12, when he got kicked in the calf. Love said his leg was swollen from his knee to Achilles tendon.
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs' Kevin Love said his right leg got bent in fall vs. 76ers & weight "kind of jammed up my knee. It's going be pretty sore tomorrow. Nothing serious, something I'm going to have to treat a lot & hopefully it will be gone in a few days."
Chris Fedor: #Cavs Kevin Love is not listed on the 8:30 injury report. Tristan Thompson is listed OUT for rest. Nik Stauskas, who took a nasty fall against GS, is questionable with back soreness.
Chris Fedor: There was a touch of confusion from earlier. But #Cavs will not have Kevin Love tonight vs Suns. Kevin had considered himself a game-time decision. But Drew ruled him out.
Cayleigh Griffin: Kevin Love will be available tonight, despite not participating in shootaround this morning. #BeTheFight
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs coach Larry Drew said @Kevin Love out tonight vs Pistons with lower back soreness. Drew said “he took a very tough fall” at Dallas
Love said he plans to play Thursday against Phoenix and intends to build up his minutes over the next few weeks. Cleveland has 24 games left. "I think you'll see me more on a steady basis and not miss games after the break, I'm hoping," said Love, who has played in just two games since November. "So just continue to improve the minutes and make sure that I'm feeling good and go from there."
Rick Noland: Drew hopeful Tristan will be able to play soon after All-Star break. Also says Love "on board" with decision not to play tonight
Chris Fedor: On the 8:30 injury report from the NBA, #Cavs list Kevin Love as questionable. Today, Larry Drew wouldn’t rule out Love. Every other time asked, Drew would say something like “not likely” or “that would be pushing it.” Verrrrry interesting...
Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love took part in a contact scrimmage and could be days from playing in a game. Love has been out since late October after undergoing surgery on his left foot. He played in just four games before the pain became too much and he opted for surgery. Cavs coach Larry Drew said Love "did pretty well" during Thursday's 5-on-5 workout.
Kevin Love took a big step in his recovery on Thursday afternoon, going through his first full-contact 5-on-5 practice. "He actually did pretty well," Cavs head coach Larry Drew said afterward. "He moved around pretty well. Got a little winded, which is expected. The first time he has really been in a contact situation where we went up and down and there was actual contact. I thought he moved really well, shot the ball well, passed the ball well. Hopefully tomorrow there are no setbacks when he comes to practice and we will see how he is."
"I don't anticipate it," Drew said when asked about Love's immediate availability following Monday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts. "We still want to get him involved with some contact to see how he does with that and see how he is the following day. Right now it's a step in the right direction, but he won't play tomorrow and chances are he won't play this week."
Love played in just four games before undergoing surgery Nov. 2 to relieve pressure around his big toe. He was recently cleared by doctors to begin some "select basketball activities," but Love said Monday he's not ready to run on the foot, which he injured in Cleveland's exhibition opener.
"I don't know," Love told reporters Monday. "Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later. I just don't know when it's going to be." "... I think I'll get more of an idea of that over the next couple weeks. And then from there, there will be even more progression and get out on the court. I don't know when I'll be able to go one on one, two on two, three on three, but I think that's all part of the next few weeks I'd say."
Marc J. Spears: The Cavaliers say Kevin Love (left foot surgery) will now progress with select basketball activities and continue to advance his therapy and strength and conditioning program. A timeline will be established as progression through this phase of his rehabilitation is complete.
Joe Vardon: Several of you have asked. Kevin Love is still out until mid-January, at least. He’s thinking maybe, possibly, kinda the middle of their six-game WC trip, but as of now he’s not even cleared for on-court work, and won’t be until after the new year
Kevin​ Love is targeting​ a mid-January return​ to​ the court from foot​ surgery, following a consultation​​ Monday with Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York. When he returns, the Cavs plan to play him. Sounds obvious, considering Love’s a five-time All-Star, but the situation is trickier than you might think. Love had cartilage removed and fluid drained from the base of the big toe on his left foot by O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Nov. 2. Scans on his foot Monday were clean, and he can begin to ramp up his workouts in another three to four weeks, he told The Athletic. He said he wouldn’t return before he’s ready, estimating his absence extending another six weeks.
How close is Love to a return? That’s a question no one in the organization can answer. Love recently spoke on ESPN’s The Jump about coming back sometime after the new year. But in a positive development, he’s been on the bench for the last two home games. On Monday morning, Love was doing more rehab work off to the side following shootaround, tossing a medicine ball up against the wall. Later that night, he was out of his walking boot, cheering on his teammates while they were making a second-half rally on his bobblehead night.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said Tuesday that he expects to remain out until "sometime after the new year." Love underwent toe surgery Nov. 2, and the Cavs said at the time that Love would be out at least six weeks. Six weeks from the surgery would be Dec. 14.
Love told ESPN's The Jump on Tuesday that his absence likely will extend beyond the six-week mark. He said he'll be "in and out" of a boot for two more weeks. "There's just no telling at this time with the weight-bearing injury what it is going to be like moving forward, but I expect to be back sometime after the new year," he said.
When Drew was asked whether there's a chance Love is shut down for the season, he paused for a moment before answering. "I'm not concerned about that," Drew said. "I haven't gotten anything from our side as far as missing for the year. I'm going to proceed with the whole fact that he is going to be out for a period of time and that's how we have to prepare. Like I said, I'm hoping he will be back sooner than later. But I have to prepare this team as best I can since he's not here."
"Unfortunate that it's this part, the very beginning of the year," Acting coach Larry Drew said prior to Saturday's matchup against the Hornets. "I reached out to him yesterday and just told him to get well and we will be here waiting on you and we're going to miss you. He hit me right back. We have to move on. We wish him a speedy recovery and we will be ecstatic when he gets back."
Cayleigh Griffin: Kevin Love is out indefinitely with a left toe injury. He said he will be re-evaluated in a few weeks.
Rick Noland: Love said it is his left big toe that is sore. Plan is to rest it 2-3 weeks, and hope that's enough. Surgery, however, has not been ruled out
Joe Vardon: Kevin Love is out tonight against the Pistons with what the Cavs are calling left foot soreness. They are 0-4 and going to play the Pistons on a back to back. I cannot imagine a worse start to this season — loses and Love injury, even if it’s minor
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs announce @Kevin Love out tonight at Detroit with left foot soreness. Limp noticeable in post-game locker room Wednesday
Jeff Green will start Game 7 for the injured Kevin Love, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said this morning. Lue said Green's versatility on defense, which will allow the Cavs to switch on any Boston pick, was a primary reason to go with him.
Green essentially filled in for Love after he suffered a concussion in Game 6 and finished with 14 points. "I think he attacked the small guys, the switches, and took his time, did a good job attacking, rebounded the ball well," Lue said. "I just think defensively being able to switch and guard multiple positions, that's huge for us. He was able to switch a lot more, we were able to do a lot of different stuff defensively."
Kevin Love was placed in the NBA's concussion protocol and his status for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday is uncertain. Coach Tyronn Lue said Love hasn't been ruled out for the game and will travel with the team to Boston, but will have to pass a series of tests to be able to play.
Scott Agness: As expected, Kevin Love (left thumb) is good to go tonight. He looked comfortable putting up shots before shootaround. He’s averaging 12pts, 12.5rebs per game in the series. But shooting just 33 percent.
It was the same hand that Love fractured Jan. 30 at Detroit and missed nearly seven weeks. “I saw a replay, too, and it didn’t look good,” Love said. “Hurt pretty bad. Initially I told Ty afterward that I could have gone back in, but I think he liked the flow out there and guys made big plays down the stretch. “It’s not going to feel great tomorrow, but throw some ice on it, tape it up and be ready to go.”
Dave McMenamin: Ty Lue says that Kevin Love is good to play in Game 3. Just had a jammed thumb. He didn’t go back in the game because Lue liked the flow of the team he had on the floor.
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Storyline: Hasheem Thabeet NBA return?