Unlucky break: Cavs' Love still "down" after fracturing hand

 
 
Updated 2/3/2018 10:49 PM
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  • Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love watches from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Cleveland.

    Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love watches from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Cleveland. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love watches from the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis. Love will miss two months with a broken left hand, but he does not need surgery. Love broke the fifth metacarpal Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the first quarter of a loss at Detroit.

    FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love watches from the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis. Love will miss two months with a broken left hand, but he does not need surgery. Love broke the fifth metacarpal Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the first quarter of a loss at Detroit. Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Kevin Love stared at the brace encasing his broken left hand. Days later, he's still in disbelief.

For the second year in a row, Cleveland's forward will miss the All-Star Game - and a chunk of the season - with a significant injury.

"It's frustrating," said Love, who could be sidelined two months. "It's not just All-Star, it's missing time. It just seems like (bad) luck, really. I don't know how to categorize it, I really don't. Injuries are injuries, but like a significant injury. It's just one of those unlucky (bad) luck kind of things."

Love has watched replays of Tuesday's game in Detroit, but he still can't determine exactly the moment when he broke his hand in the first quarter.

If there's any positive, it's that Love will not have to undergo surgery and he'll be able to do some ball handling drills and remain in decent shape. The medical staff's timeline means he'll return with two weeks left in the regular season.

That's not a lot of time to get ready for the playoffs, but Love thinks it will be enough.

In the meantime, he's trying to put the injury behind him. That's been difficult.

"I'm down, still down," he said. "I guess I'm always looking for a silver lining or something that's going to keep my spirits up. I just look at it like it's my left hand, I didn't need surgery and I can still be here to support this team. I can still be around the team, I can still almost do everything besides go out there and play which obviously is what I want to be doing."

"I can stay in shape and keep my legs underneath me and be well-rested for the playoffs."

The injury is a major blow to the Cavs, who have been struggling and need their top rebounder and second-leading scorer.

Last season, Love missed 13 games after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his knee. He's now broken his left hand twice, and his right hand once.

"I should have drank more milk when I was little," he joked, trying to make light of his latest injury. "I'm not endorsed by chocolate milk any more, that was my first year here. I don't know. Honestly I think it's just, I don't know. I looked at that myself. I thought, my hands are a big part of the sport but this is the second time I've broken my left hand. I don't know. It's crazy."

The Cavs haven't played like a team capable of getting to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight time, but Love hasn't given up hope.

Like Love, Cleveland has been down before.

"We have so much time now," he said. "We're not even at the All-Star break, to establish an identity. We have a track record of that in the past where it's taken us until really the last 4-to-6 weeks to the end of the season. We're hoping that's still the case with this team. Obviously there's a lot of moving parts. This is a good chance for a lot of guys to step up and play big minutes.

"Not just at my position but really throughout. I'm excited to see what these guys are able to do. For me, I'll keep going out there and supporting them and try to stay in shape throughout this whole process. And that rhythm as the previous question you asked, I'll try to get it back in however many games I have."

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