Kevin Love will start for the Cavaliers against the Jazz on March 16, almost two weeks before team doctors said he would return from February 14 knee surgery, Coach Tyronn Lue said in his pregame news conference.
Luckily, it was a quite comfortable win that likely didn't take too much out of the Jazz, but Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and George Hill did all log over 30 minutes apiece so fatigue could still play a factor. "I feel confident coming back to the game".
The 28-year-old Sanders was out of the National Basketball Association for more than two years. "I would anticipate that he'll play sometime on the road trip". "It's good. You've got to trust the process, respect the process and give that leg time to heal, give injuries time to heal, but it's not for a lack of wanting to be out there". And not just the stats, but the manner by which Love goes about getting them.
Although Love is mentally ready to get back on the floor and could make his return as soon as this weekend, he will not be forcing up any shots in order to get back into game shape.
Love, an All-Star who is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds this season, hasn't played since February 11. Just prior to the injury, Love had been selected to play in the All-Star Game after having averaged a double-double all season.
Entering Thursday's game, the Cavaliers are still in first place, where they were when Love sustained his injury, with a record of 44-22. "I imagine, at the very latest, it'll be when we come back, but I don't think it'll take that long". Additionally, the Cavaliers enjoy a 10-game advantage over the Indiana Pacers for the Central Division lead.
"If he gets through it, he has no soreness, we'll let him keep taking the next step all the way through, and we'll see what that means", Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin said about Kevin Love's ongoing rehab.