Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love will reportedly miss 6-8 weeks with a non-displaced fracture in the fifth metacarpal in his left hand.
Love left in the first quarter of Cleveland’s 125-114 loss to the Pistons on Tuesday night after making contact with Andre Drummond in the paint.
Love went to the locker room and had an X-ray, which showed the fracture, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Brian Windhorst is reporting the 6-8 week timetable, though McMenamin said Love’s status won’t officially be updated until the team returns to Cleveland on Wednesday.
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The injury will force to Love to miss the All-Star game for the second straight year. In 2017, he underwent knee surgery five days before the All-Star Game.
Love’s injury is a tough one for Cleveland. The team has been dealing with heavy rumors of in-fighting and a toxic lack of chemistry. For a team that has appeared in three straight NBA finals, the Cavaliers appear anything but poised for another deep playoff run.
With Love out, head coach Ty Lue will need to adjust his rotations. Look for Jae Crowder, Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye to get more minutes. It’s also possible that Cleveland will look to the recently acquired Ante Zizic for more minutes at center.
Love’s injury may also throw a wrench into any pending trade plans. There have been rumors for weeks that both Love and Isaiah Thomas, the team’s new point guard, are on the trading block. With Love out for six to eight weeks, he’ll be ineligible for inclusion in trades until after the 2018 trade deadline. So he’s not going anywhere.
There were rumors that Frye was part of a trade to the Sacramento Kings for George Hill, but it’s unclear if the Cavaliers still feel comfortable swapping one of their few big men for another guard.