Injured Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love said last month that he was targeting a mid-January return from the foot injury that has sidelined him since October. However, speaking on Monday to reporters, including Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, he admitted that timeline is no longer realistic. Love is still several weeks away from getting back on the court, and likely won’t be back until closer to the All-Star break.
“I think just kind of go with the symptoms,” Love said. “Like if I’m feeling anything we’ll just kind of keep it at that pace, just a progression from here. But 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.”
Approximately halfway through the 2018/19 season, the Cavaliers hold an NBA-worst record of 8-32. With lottery positioning on their mind, the Cavs will likely be as patient and deliberate as possible with Love’s recovery. However, the five-time All-Star has no intention of shutting it down for the season.
“That’s never really been the thought process — at least for me,” Love said, according to Fedor. “I know going out there, I want to play. I want to be out there with those guys. I feel like I would be letting my teammates down and letting LD (Larry Drew) and the coaching staff down if I didn’t get out there and play and get out there and play as soon as I could so long as I’m healthy.
“I would just hope to come back whether it be right before All-Star break, after All-Star break, just things to start trending in the right direction and give the fans and this organization some hope for better times that are going to be here.”
Of course, there’s a possibility that Love won’t even be in Cleveland beyond February 7, the date of this season’s trade deadline. However, if he’s not even healthy by that point, at deal seems awfully unlikely.
For his part, Love acknowledged today that even if he’s not traded in the next month, he’ll probably be the subject of trade speculation again in the summer. The 30-year-old added that while this season hasn’t gone as planned, he remains committed to staying in Cleveland long-term after signing a four-year extension with the Cavs last year.
“I would love to be here,” Love said. “Would just love to get through a whole season healthy just because I’ve had nagging things that have taken time and been a little bit unlucky, but I would like to play ball here.”