Heat’s Kevin Love Leaves Game ‘Covered in Blood’ After Hit to Head

Kevin Love

Getty Kevin Love of the Miami Heat left the team's March 19 game bleeding from the head.

Miami Heat forward Kevin Love was having a season-best performance with his new team March 19 against the Detroit Pistons before he was knocked out of the game.

Love had 12 points, 8.0 rebounds and two assists before taking a blow that resulted in multiple stitches. The play occurred with under four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Pistons center Jalen Duren’s chin smacked into the left side of Love’s head as the Heat veteran drove to the basket. Love left the game and did not return.

Miami signed Love, who has played in the NBA for 15 seasons, in February after he was released by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he has started 13 games for the Heat since joining the squad. Naturally, it was concerning to see him exit with blood dripping from his head.

Kevin Love Injury Update: Will Heat Forward Be Ready to Play Soon?

“Love appeared to be on the way to one of his best performances since joining the Heat last month, but he had to leave the game early after taking a shot to the head,” Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald reported after the game.

“Love’s head and face were covered in blood following the collision,” Chiang added. “At first, the play was ruled a foul on Duren for making contact with Love on his shot attempt. But after a review, it was changed to an offensive foul on Butler for pushing Pistons guard Rodney McGruder into Duren to initiate the sequence of events. Love went back to the locker room after the incident with blood coming from the side of his head. He received four stitches and returned to the Heat’s bench midway through the fourth quarter, but did not re-enter the game.”

If Love returned to Miami’s bench, it’s a good sign he didn’t suffer a concussion or something worse. He should be available for future games, although the Heat has not released an official statement on his injury.

Here’s a look at the play that knocked Love out of the game:

Heat Should Be Getting Center Cody Zeller Back Soon

The Heat may have dodged a bullet with Love’s hit to the head not being too serious, and after dealing with injury issues for much of the season, Miami may be finally emerging with a healthy roster in time for the playoffs. Point guard Kyle Lowry has finally returned to action after missing 15 games and the Heat should have their backup center available soon, as well.

Cody Zeller suffered a broken nose against the Orlando Magic on March 11 and hasn’t played since. Zeller has been a key reserve since his addition to the squad in February, averaging 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game. Zeller broke his nose once before, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says the big man will wear a face mask when he returns to action.

“Everything looks encouraging,” Spoelstra said about Zeller, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I know what he wants to do and I know, based on previous history of guys with these kind of procedures, it will be sooner than later. But you just have to see how the swelling is and all that. He does have his old mask, so that will be a good thing.”

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