Report: Love eyes return to Cavaliers' lineup next week

NBA.com Global on Mar 15, 2018 07:57 AM
Report: Love eyes return to Cavaliers' lineup next week
FILE - BOSTON, MA - MAY 19: Kevin Love #0 and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers high five during the game against the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 19, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

Earlier this week, LeBron James made it clear that injuries have made it a challenge for the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers to get into a rhythm. He's not wrong, either, as Cleveland is just 8-6 since undergoing a roster makeover on Feb. 8 (Feb. 9, PHL time).

One player that was a part of the Cavs both before and after that transition is All-Star forward Kevin Love. He has been out since Jan. 29 (Jan. 30, PHL time) with a broken left hand, but talk began to perk up two weeks ago that his timeline to return may be sooner than the anticipated six-to eight-week timeframe.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reports Love is targeting a return to the lineup next week, perhaps as soon as March 23 (Mar. 24, PHL time):

Kevin Love said he's looking to return to the Cavaliers later next week.

Love, who broke a bone in his left hand on Jan. 30, told cleveland.com he was hopeful to play against Phoenix at The Q on March 23. The Cavs play the East-leading Raptors on March 21 and are in Brooklyn March 25.

Love was hesitant on a precise target date -- as the Cavs play every other day, which limits practice opportunities -- but he's looking at next week.

At the time Love was hurt, the Cavs said he'd miss eight weeks, which would be March 26. So Love could be ahead of that timeline, but not by much.

...

Love yet to play with new Cavs George Hill, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson. An All-Star, Love is averaging 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds.

The Cavaliers are No. 4 in the Eastern Conference after their 129-107 win vs. the Phoenix Suns last night.

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