Entering the 2018-19 NBA season, the LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers were set to rely on Kevin Love to do much of the heavy lifting. Love had just signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension with the Cavaliers, a move which made a lot of sense as the team began building for their future.
Unfortunately, the 30-year-old forward was only able to play in four games to start the season before suffering a toe injury. Through the four-game start, he posted solid averages of 19 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists, but struggled with his shot, making just 32.3 percent from the field.
Poor shooting proved to be the least of Cleveland’s concerns, as Love has remained out since that point and the Cavaliers have struggled to pick up early-season wins. In turn, the team even fired head coach Tyronn Lue after an 0-6 start to the year. It hasn’t improved much since that point for the team, as they are almost certainly looking towards a finish near the bottom of the league.
Let’s take a look at the latest on Love’s injury and a potential timeline for when he could return this season.
Early Updates and Severity of Kevin Love’s Injury
Although there has been no exact date set for when Love could return to the floor, the Cavaliers will undoubtedly take their time bringing him back. The Athletic’s Joe Vardon revealed back on November 2 that Love had surgery on his left toe, which will sideline him for at least six weeks. At that point, he’ll be re-evaluated for a potential return or updated timeline.
With Love originally being evaluated for a return around Christmas time, there’s no guarantee he’ll be back at that point. Depending on how the Cavaliers sit in terms of their record at the time, the team could choose to hold him out until he’s 100 percent healthy. Even when that time comes, Love’s minutes will likely be monitored right out of the gate.
Kevin Love’s Latest Injury Timeline & Cavaliers Plan
There hasn’t been much in terms of new information revealed when it comes to the status of the Cavaliers forward, but it seems the realistic timeline has been pushed back. As The Athletic’s Joe Vardon revealed, Love met with a doctor in early December and is targeting a return in mid-January.
While that’s later than originally anticipated, it’s still good to see any type of estimated date coming to light. Even more importantly, Vardon also reported that the Cavaliers plan to play Love regardless of the team’s current spot in the standings. It’s been somewhat of a waiting game and it’s safe to assume that the 30-year-old is surely ready to return to the court.
As Cleveland finds themselves in a rebuild for the second post-LeBron era, the front office and coaching staff would be wise to tread lightly with Love’s toe injury.