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Kevin Love’s hope to be back on the hardwood in mid-January is no longer an option.
The five-time All-Star power forward of the Cleveland Cavaliers told reporters Monday that the original timeline to return after surgery to repair an injured left foot in mid-October is no longer in play.
“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.”
With the Cavaliers owning the NBA’s worst record at 8-32, there is obviously no reason for the team that tipped off the season as four-time defending Eastern Conference champions to push Love to return. He signed a four-year, $120 million contract extension last summer.
However, Love made it clear that he has no intentions of sitting out the remainder of the season.
“That’s never really been the thought process, at least for me,” Love said. “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.”
As usual, Love’s name has been tossed around in regard to the NBA’s trade deadline, which is Feb. 7 this season. The 30-year-old, as per usual, stressed he wants to remain in Cleveland.
“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.”