NBA Rumor: Kevin Love Injury

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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.

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.”

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.

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.”
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Chris Bosh: Like everyone else who pays attention to basketball, I was shocked this week at the news that LaMarcus Aldridge was retiring. Over fifteen lights-out seasons in the NBA, LaMarcus became a seven-time All-Star, with a fadeaway jumper you just had to admire, even if he was draining it in your face. But he also became the kind of player you could develop a relationship with from the stands or through the TV: a big man who could run the court and put up big numbers on both sides of the ball—and never let his head get too big about it.