FEBRUARY 16, 8:31am: Lue has backtracked on his earlier comments, telling reporters late last night that he misinterpreted a question about Love, Vardon writes in a new piece for Cleveland.com. According to Vardon, Cavs sources reviewed Lue’s comments and told reporters that the head coach misspoke — he was apparently referring to when Love suffered the injury, rather than when he learned about it.
Love is expected to be out of action for six weeks after having surgery Tuesday to clean up “loose bodies” in his left knee. After the Cavs played last Wednesday, Lue indicated he would rest Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving for the next night’s game, but later changed his mind and played all three.
“It was already [hurt], loose bodies were already in there so he just played through it,” Lue explained to reporters tonight, “and then after it got to a certain point he got the MRI and he found out it was loose bodies floating around.”
The coach added that he didn’t regret his decision to play Love because he “was already heading for surgery.” All three players reportedly told Lue that they wanted to play.
An unidentified team source differed with Lue’s account, telling Vardon that Love banged his knee before Wednesday’s game, but the problem didn’t become fully evident until it swelled on Saturday.
Vardon notes that the incident raises questions about Cleveland’s stated commitment to giving players the proper rest before the playoffs. Lue said he will approach back-to-back situations differently through the rest of the season.